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Photographer captures true beauty of some of the most perfectly imperfect pets

Photos of pets with disabilities dog-cat-happy
© houndstoothstudio - Instagram

An Australian animal photographer has taken a series of photographs of pets with varying disabilities that show their true beauty and celebrates their differences.

By Zoe Monk

Published on the 05/11/2019, 20:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:38

Alex Cearns has become a well-known photographer making her name taking beautiful photographs of animals.

But instead of taking photos of perfectly primped dogs and preened cats, her latest project captures dogs and cats with disabilities and sheds light on their conditions.

Perfectly Imperfect: Dog Portraits of Resilience

Alex’s collection of photographs called, Perfectly Imperfect: Dog Portraits of Resilience, includes around 60 cats and dogs of different shapes, sizes and breeds. But they all have one thing in common, a noticeable disability that sets them apart from other pets.

Let's meet some of them.

Aryah might be deaf in one ear, missing an eye and have a misshapen face, but none of this has stopped her from a being a gentle pooch.


A post shared by Alex Cearns OAM (@houndstoothstudio) on

Little Vegemite is a sweet pup who lost an eye after being attacked by another dog.


A post shared by Alex Cearns OAM (@houndstoothstudio) on

Brave and determined

Mya became blind after she lost both of her eyes to glaucoma, but this has simply strengthened her other senses.


PERFECT IMPERFECTION! Look at that happy face. Beautiful Mya the Husky had her eyes removed after painful Glaucoma set...

Posted by Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Jakk was just thrown away into a rubbish bin because of his misshapen legs. But his cries were heard and his life was saved.


A post shared by Alex Cearns OAM (@houndstoothstudio) on

Sweet Bali Pip might have become bald because of mange, but that’s not stopped her from wanting to live life to the max.


A post shared by Alex Cearns OAM (@houndstoothstudio) on

Skin cancer may have caused Beau to lose both his ears and his hearing, but he is still a happy chap.


A post shared by Alex Cearns OAM (@houndstoothstudio) on


Alex was keen for her photographs to show how loving and adorable these pets are and to help them find new and loving homes.

“When I was a child, these puppies would have been euthanized when they were born or when they had a leg amputated or an eye removed,” Alex told InsideEdition.com.

“Things have changed. I hope people love these dogs as much as I do.”

Enjoying life

Draco is a sweet Bull Terrier who has a heart condition which causes him to faint.


A post shared by Alex Cearns OAM (@houndstoothstudio) on

He might be missing a leg, but Rupert hasn’t lost his bounce.


A post shared by Alex Cearns OAM (@houndstoothstudio) on

Peg may have a special leg but it doesn’t stop her from being active.


A post shared by Alex Cearns OAM (@houndstoothstudio) on

A story to tell

Alex’s photographs tell the story of each animal’s difference and disability and show how despite everything they’ve been through, they haven’t let it stop them from wanting to enjoy life.

“I hope people see these animals and understand they’re worthy of the same love any other animal is worthy of,” Alex said.

“They’re happy, they’re fulfilled and they inspire all of us to push on, get on with it, live in the moment, be present, make the most of this life we have and the time we have, no matter how long that may be.”