An Act of DogBy Immydog
I look into the eyes of that dog, and even though it is hand drawn, and not a photo, the emotions seeping out of this dog are tangible. This little dog should be in some one's lap, not locked in a kennel somewhere, homeless. The picture had obviously grabbed my attention, so I clicked on the attached link. Often, links like this will lead you to a story with a happy ending. The dog was painted by a local artist, a story was on the news about the artist's work, and suddenly fifty people wanted to adopt the dog in the portrait.
After clicking, I came to a website: www.anactofdog.com . The gentleman, Mark Barone, is an artist and avid dog lover in Kentucky who has partnered with Marina Dervan, another animal lover and activist. The portraits Mark paints are endearing, but not just because of the lifelike expression on the animals' faces. The portraits are endearing because they are of dogs that were euthanized, dogs that were killed while awaiting a family in an animal shelter.
Each and every portrait, each face, each pair of eyes peering out from the canvas is a life lost, a love lost.
The above portrait, the one that caught my eye, is of Pat. He was killed February 13, 2011, because no one chose to bring him home.
There are more faces put to canvas...
Petey, Killed 2/13/2011
Roscoe, Killed 10/21/2010
Bruce, Killed 12/8/2010
I know what you are probably thinking right now... "But Lisa, aren't these pit bulls? We cannot save them!" Perhaps you are uneducated enough to have succumbed to the idiotic stereotype that pitties are all vicious, and you would never take one home. Or perhaps you are a rescuer, not unlike myself, that sighs when you see a pittie who needs a home because they can be difficult to place for SO many reasons that do not include their temperament. So let us temporarily forget about the forgotten pit bulls.
Let's keep looking at this gentleman's artwork...
Perhaps a Schnauzer would be more to your liking?
Eli, Killed 11/23/2010Or a Chihuahua that someone had fed very well prior to her arrival at the shelter...
Star, Killed 11/4/2010
A German Shepherd with a smile should be easy to place into a home...
Rocky, Killed 11/10/2010Or a beagle whose shadow even scares him...
Roy, Killed 11/2/2010
How about a Miniature Pincher that is so scared of the shelter ID collar and tag around his neck he cannot even lift his Dumbo-like ears...
Juicy, Killed 11/10/2010Or any mixed breed puppy...
Buddy, Killed 11/7/2010
How about another Chihuahua? He comes with a harness that was probably put in place by his owner and has been worn for years...
Cole, Killed 11/4/2010Or a Boxer who has obviously struggled to survive, just skin and bones, but did not survive his visit to the local shelter...Sydney, Killed 2/13/2011
If none of these faces appeal to you, then perhaps my blog is not one you should be reading. If you are shocked by the adorable faces you see, faces that needed someone just like you, faces that never left the shelter, then you should keep reading.
Dogs and cats are being routinely killed in local shelters everywhere! There is something wrong with a system that finds death to be a more humane outcome than commitment and dedication to the life they hold.
Think you cannot help? "I don't have any spare time, or any money to spare... It is just too emotional for me." Then these faces should be what you see as you try to fall asleep tonight.
There are SO many things you can do. Need some ideas? Visit our previous blog by clicking here: "Help Your Local Animal Shelter While on a Budget"
Just like Mark Barone, anyone can be creative and help animals, it just takes some soul searching. He is producing 5500 portraits, commemorating the 5500 dogs put to death each DAY in shelters in our United States. Mark Barone is donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these portraits to organisations working towards a No-Kill-Nation.
Mark is painting portraits of love lost. Each portrait is going to be displayed in an art exhibit. Each face is going to be witnessed by hundreds or perhaps thousands of people. If only a small percentage of these people become active in animal welfare, the benefits could be enormous! If a small percentage of people learned to ask the right questions about their local shelter, the benefits would be amazing! The faces seen in this two football field length exhibit, commemorate the dogs that die in one single day in shelters, shelters that are funded by our tax dollars and your donations to care for our lost and homeless animals. Are you really okay with that?
Before choosing which shelter or rescue to help, visit this article: What is in a name? Know what questions to ask, before you write a check or donate your time.
If the benefits of this exhibit resulted in leaving a blank canvas, it would be the most priceless print in this collection. It would be an Act of DOG.
Now I am going to shed 5500 tears..."Imagine standing in an Exhibit that is ... two football fields long and over ten feet in height. These paintings represent less than 1% of what the actual exhibit will be. The final exhibition will be a haunting memorial and tribute to all of our beloved pets, who were needlessly killed and robbed of their right to life." Mark Barone
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