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Dogs on death row: Heartbreaking portraits of strays taken just hours before they're put down at

These emotional portraits show the final moments of stray dogs before they are put to death in an animal pound.

The series, taken in government-run pounds in Taiwan, show the dogs as little as half an hour before pound workers humanely put them down.

Photographer Yun-Fei Tou used human portrait techniques to bring the scruffy animals' faces fully to life, and wants viewers to 'witness the decay of life moments before death' in the dogs' unknowing expressions.

At death's door: This dog, photographed in a Taiwanese pound, died just under two hours after this photograph was taken.

Piercing: Photograph Yun-Fei Tou used portrait techniques to emphasize the facial expressions of the doomed animals. This dog was killed 43 minutes after this picture was taken

None of the animals is named - instead each portrait is simply identified by how long after the image was taken they were killed. The times vary from 14 hours to 29 minutes.

Explaining the series, dubbed Memento Mori (Latin for 'remember you will die), he said: 'These nameless animals, by virtue of the size at, which they are printed and the approximations to human scale, are transformed into existence... The status of power between humans and other sentient beings, those considered "the other" is diminished.'

Fatal encounter: The dogs were all being held in publicly-run dog pounds in Taiwan. They were humanely killed - this dog 40 minutes after her photograph was taken

Lost: The dogs in the photo series were all gathered up by dog pound workers, who then put them down

Soulful: This dog, emaciated and with patchy fur, gives the camera a sideways glance an hour and a quarter before its death

Full-faced: Tou took the series to humanize the animals. This dog died just over an hour after the picture was taken

Downcast: The dogs' final moments were captured in the photo series. This dog had the longest gap between photograph and its death - it was put down 13 hours later

Facing it head-on: This black dog was killed around an hour and a half after the photograph was taken


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