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A Delicate Trust

Moments of healing between people and animals

Photographs and text by Annie Marie Musselman

Published in the September/October 2014 issue of Orion magazine

THIS PROJECT BEGAN at a small, wildlife rehabilitation center seventy-five miles north of Seattle, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, where injured, wild creatures come to finish their journeys or to start new ones. I’d gone there to document the delicate union that exists between humans and animals—to explore not just the places where our lives often intersect, like forests or parks, but the more intimate spaces where our emotions meet.

To gain the trust of the amazing people who worked there, I cleaned cages, fed and intubated animals, and gave medications. I struggled with harsh fluorescent lighting, limited time for picture taking during moments of crisis, and constant stress from sick and dying animals—all the while looking for moments of beauty around me. My goal was to capture the obligation we have to take care of these vulnerable animals.

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Annie Marie Musselman is working on a project called For the Innocent, which documents the lives of animals in sanctuaries around the world.

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