Catwalk star: Photographer Gary Green and animal care attendant Kathy Oh try to get their fussy model

NO, REALLY: Cajoling the models takes patience and a feather boa

During his career with the Victoria Police Department, Gary Green wasn’t used to having his subjects move around so much...if at all

During his career with the Victoria Police Department, Gary Green wasn’t used to having his subjects move around so much…if at all.

As the head of forensic investigations, Green photographed hundreds of grisly crime scenes and “subjects” who would never move again on their own.

But in his retirement the Courtenay resident chooses to spend his time in the land of the living, so to speak, and to help a cause near and dear to his heart: animals.

“I’ve seen a lot of brutal crimes, but when I see an injured animal, it gets to me more than anything,” he says during a professional visit to the BC SPCA shelter in Campbell River.

Green no longer examines crime scenes, but he does teach at the Justice Institute and also educates SPCA workers on the finer points of investigating incidents of animal cruelty.

“I’m impressed with their knowledge and dedication, especially with a lack of resources,” he says of the SPCA investigators.

Today though, there are no crimes to look into and no lectures to give, just several antsy cats who are acting like fussy models. In a nutshell, they are “refusing” to sit still and pose for Green.

It’s Pup-a-razzi Day at the SPCA and Green has volunteered his time, equipment and expertise to photograph the dogs and cats available for adoption.

His goal is to show them in their best light, rather than the typical SPCA adoption photos of dogs and cats inside cages.

“We have to make our pictures better,” says Kathleen Embree, the long-time manager at the local shelter.

Embree is thrilled Green is volunteering to photograph the two dogs and almost 20 cats available for adoption at the Campbell River animal shelter.

The photographs will be posted in the scrolling digital frame at the shelter for adoptive families to see.

The pictures and their profiles will also be posted online at the BC SPCA’s new website,

The website also allows visitors to check with the local shelter to see if their missing dog or cat is there.

Back on the “catwalk,” Green and Kathy Oh, an animal care attendant, are doing their best to coax Tia, a good-looking 10-year-old tabby, to sit still for her special photo.

Green concentrates behind the viewfinder, waiting for the perfect moment, while Oh cajoles Tia with squeeze toys, a little feather boa, by combing her fur, and crumpling plastic bags.

“Got one!” says Green with satisfaction after viewing the picture.

“She sure made me work for those ones,” adds Oh.

To which Green responds, “Animals require a lot of patience,” says the owner of two border collies.