COURTESY OF BARBARA DAVIDSON
Children affected by gang violence share a one-bedroom
apartment in Los Angeles County (left); a 15-year-old girl
on her way to her quinceañera birthday party passes a
makeshift shrine to a murdered street vendor (above).
LOS ANGELES TIMES photographer, and
Costco member, Barbara Davidson, received
a Pulitzer for her series on the innocent victims of gang violence (
biography/2011-feature-photography), the culmination of two hard and emotionally
exhausting years spent in Los Angeles
County’s underprivileged communities.
After honing her craft in her native
Canada, she moved on to a job with The
Washington Times, which led to seven years
at The Dallas Morning News—where she
won her first Pulitzer for her coverage of
Hurricane Katrina—and travelling to photograph events in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, the
Congo and elsewhere.
“It’s just something I knew I wanted to
do,” she recalls of her desire to be a photog-
rapher. “Right from my very first roll of film
I had a picture published in the student
newspaper, so right away I got the bug.
Find me a pooch
BEING SURROUNDED BY pets from
a young age sparks some people’s
love of animals. Sarah Oren, a res-
cue dog advocate and pet match-
maker, came by it organically.
“Ever since I was really little,
I’ve been into dogs, despite my
parents’ wishes,” says the New
Haven, Connecticut, Costco mem-
ber. “They’re not animal people.
“I used to dream of being a
veterinarian,” Oren recalls. “And
the only way to know for sure if
that was my destiny was to help
animals in my community.”
She started volunteering at
the West Haven Animal Shelter
when she was eleven and made
her first match at twelve. “It was
an incredible feeling to know that I
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cannot be acknowledged
helped a family find a great dog
that they might not have otherwise known about,” she says.
Sarah has continued her
passion as an adult, working as
an advocate for rescue dogs and
maintaining two blogs (www.
FosterDogsNYC.com and http://
TheDogMatchmaker.net), to help
connect people in the New York
tri-state area to a loving companion searching for a home.
“What I’m doing is not some-
thing that other people cannot
do,” Sarah explains. “I’m not a
magical dog whisperer but I know
the places to look and I know
what to look for.”
She does not charge for her
services but she asks for a dona-
MARSHALL S. BOPREY
tion to increase her efforts for
future adopters. Sarah observes,
“If you’re adopting a dog, you’re
saving a life.”—SF