April 3, 2012
A museum full of paintings of dogs that were euthanized in animal shelters
may sound morbid, but one animal welfare group thinks it will bring much
needed awareness about the millions of
animals that lose their lives every year. They also hope the project will
bring funds to stop the senseless killing.
Mark Barone and Marina
Dervan who founded
An Act of Dog, a nonprofit group fighting against euthanasia at animal
shelters, are behind the art museum project. They would like to exhibit the
paintings in Bradenton, Florida where the county has passed a resolution 'to
do all in its power to provide alternatives to the euthanasia of domestic
animals, becoming a 'No Kill' community.'
The museum would hold 5,500
paintings of dogs painted by Barone while they were waiting to be
euthanized. Barone chose 5,500 because he says it represents the number of
dogs killed in America's shelters in one day.
'The animals are not
dead in the paintings,'
said Dervan. 'They are alive, so they are beautiful images.
Barone, who has an art background, collected the pictures of the dogs from
the website Dogs in Danger and from rescue groups that post photos of dogs
about to be euthanized on Facebook. It has taken him two years to paint all
of the dogs.
'We designed this to raise the much needed $20 million
and the awareness that is necessary to bring the existing archaic shelter
system in to the 21st Century,'
reads the An Act of Dog
'It is only by asserting the adoption of the no-kill equation [that] we will
we accurately reflect the American people's desire for an accountable and
An Act of Dog would like to see all animal
shelters adopt the No Kill
model which was created by Nathan J. Winograd and focuses on a 90
percent 'save rate' of animals through either adoption or reuniting lost
pets with their owners.
Winograd believes shelters could do a lot
more to get lost pets back home and could get most pets adopted by offering
convenient adoption locations and staying open more hours. His books have
become famous and his seminars are offered around the country to help
shelters and communities.
Last year Mark Barone and Marina Dervan
spoke about their goals for An Act of Dog and the 'No Kill' equation with
fellow Care2 writer, Megan Drake. You can read that interview at:
Can the U.S. Become a No-Kill Nation?
Individuals will not have
to visit the Dog Euthanasia Museum; paintings can be purchased, sponsored or
An Act of Dog.