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 homeless 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 mission statement. “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 compassionate America.”
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 viewed at An Act of Dog.
Photo Credit: MarkBarone