Duty Calls – TIME’s photojournalist Diana Walker Sent on Assignment

Hendersonville, N.C. – Blue Ridge Humane Society announced today that photojournalist, Diana Walker, scheduled to attend the organization’s Wags to Riches on October 22nd has been called out of the country on assignment for TIME Magazine and will not be able to judge the pet photo contest or attend the event. Walker’s presentation at Blue Ridge Community College on Friday, October 21st at 5:30pm has also been cancelled.

“Of course we are disappointed,†said Terri Thompson, executive director for Blue Ridge Humane Society, “but we certainly understand. Diana’s career is tied to the news, and many times there isn’t an opportunity for a photojournalist to plan too far in advance.†Thompson went on to say, “We hope to encourage Diana to come to Hendersonville at a later date so that she can share her experiences of twenty years as a White House photographer.â€

Michele Stephenson, TIME Magazine’s former director of photography, will still be attending and will be the sole judge for the “Give Us Your Best Shot†pet photo contest. Stephenson said, “I am excited to come to Hendersonville for Wags to Riches and to see the photos that have been sent in for the contest. I understand there are over 70 entries which shows what a pet friendly area WNC must be.â€

In addition to Michele Stephenson, Blue Ridge Humane Society is pleased to announce that Diana Walker’s good friend, author Elise Lufkin, is going to participate in the events leading up to Wags to Riches. Lufkin recently published her third book, To The Rescue, Found Dogs With A Mission, with photographs by Diana Walker. The two have collaborated on two other books, Found Dogs: Tales of Strays Who Landed on Their Feet and Second Chances: More Tales of Found Dogs. Both books are collections of stories about rescued dogs and the many ways in which those dogs reward the kind and generous people who have helped them. To The Rescue continues and extends the subject with stories about unwanted animals – pound dogs, shelter dogs and random strays –that find good homes with people who help them to become therapy dogs and service dogs.

The public is invited to attend a presentation, “The Joys of Adopting Dogs From A Shelter or Rescue†by Elise Lufkin and Michele Stephenson on Saturday, October 22nd at 11:30AM at the Flat Rock Cinema. Lufkin and Stephenson will present photos and stories from Lufkin’s three books about the bond between once-abandoned dogs and their adoptive humans. From childhood on, Lufkin’s life has been filled with animals – dogs, cats, horses, even snakes. While working with shelter dogs to make them more adoptable, Elise saw the tragedy of pet overpopulation and how many dogs with real potential languish in shelters. Partly in reaction to this bleak side of the work, she began to focus on the happy endings and the success stories which will be highlighted in her presentation. Lufkin’s latest book will be available for purchase and can be personally autographed after the presentation.

Tickets for the presentation at the Flat Rock Cinema will be available at the door and are $8.00 per person. The Flat Rock Cinema offers table seating and a selection of lunch items (see the menu posted on their website) to enjoy during the presentation. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales and concession sales during the presentation will be donated back to Blue Ridge Humane Society.

For more information on Wags to Riches or Elise Lufkin’s presentation call the Blue Ridge Humane Society office at 692-2639.