A euthanized dog art museum could open in Bradenton, Florida, making the city the headquarters for the nationwide "no-kill" movement.
Chicagoan Mark Barone and Louisville, Kentucky resident Marina Dervan recently founded An Act of Dog, a non-profit fighting euthanasia at animal shelters.
Barone, who has an art background, tells HuffPost Miami that he vowed to spend two years painting the number of dogs believed to be killed in just one day: 5,500.
[View Barone's paintings below.]
Barone says he culled images of dogs scheduled for euthanasia from the site Dogs in Danger and from rescue groups on Facebook. Each of his portraits is saturated with pathos and is accompanied by the name of the dog and the date it was killed.
"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."
The finished paintings will be exhibited in their very own art museum, as soon as Barone and Dervan agree on a city.
"We were talking to cities across America," Barone told HuffPost Miami, "and began discussions with Bradenton officials after they had stepped up and committed as a community to become no-kill."
At the start of March, they had been able to save 77 percent of shelter animals from euthanasia.
In order to be a legit "no-kill" community, the save rate needs to be over 90 percent, according to Kris Weiskopf, Manatee County's Chief of Animal Services.
"We are moved by the passion of this community and love for their animals," Barone told HuffPost Miami, "and impressed by the caliber of the city and county officials."
"We believe that Bradenton has the potential to be the epicenter of the no-kill movement...and deservedly so."
This year, Florida legislators sponsored a bill that would require shelters to maintain a registry of animal rescue groups that are willing to accept animals that would otherwise be subject to euthanization. PETA argued that this measure could force animals into less-than-ideal environments like Caboodle Ranch. The bill died in the Florida senate.
If Manatee reaches the 90 percent save rate, it will be the first no-kill county in Florida.
Click below for a selection of Barone's paintings for An Act of Dog's euthanized dog museum:
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