Joseph Turner, Global Animal
Approximately eight million pets in the United States find themselves in animal shelters each year. Despite their health statuses, only half will avoid euthanasia. Although we should not allow stray pets to roam the streets, we also cannot take the easy way out and simply send them to shelters where they face the prospects of death. Instead, we should support the establishment of no-kill shelters where all adoptable and treatable pets are saved. However, in order to achieve this goal, we need to show our consciousness for animals not only through kind words but also through meaningful deeds.
In an effort to make the no-kill dream a reality, Mark Barone and Marina Dervan created the organization named ‘An Act of Dog.’ An Act of Dog is currently working toward its fundraising goal of $20 million to donate to organizations working toward making the United States a no-kill nation. In order to achieve this fundraising goal and to foster awareness about the no-kill movement, An Act of Dog will exhibit 5,500 dog paintings to represent the approximate number of dogs killed in shelters every day. Once completed, the paintings will be two football fields long and be over ten feet high. The awe-inspiring exhibit will surely force us to reflect on our relationships with animals and how we as a society treat them. Currently, An Act of Dog is talking with cities that are interested in housing the paintings as a permanent collection after the exhibition. Thus, the collection will continue to remind us of our duty to help animals in need long after the initial showing.
While 5,500 dogs are killed each day, over four million dogs will die in animal shelters by the time Mark Barone finishes creating the 5,500 portraits in the next two years. However, the initiative taken by An Act of Dog will hopefully spur America to join New Zealand and Australia in the race to become the first no-kill nation.
Mark Barone is currently working on the paintings at the Mellwood Art Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
Learn more about An Act of Dog at http://anactofdog.org/An_Act_of_Dog/Home.html