Dog Art with a $20 Million Dollar Purpose

Dog art and animal artists have had, in my experience, a long-time relationship with animalDog art shelter fundraisers. Artists have focused on societal ills such as dogs and domestic violence, dogs and breed specific prejudice, but an idea from An Act of Dog was unusual, fresh. To some traditionalists in the shelter world, it is also controversial.

Mark Barone and Marina Dervan, the artist and his partner, are working to protect the lives of animals by ensuring that America’s animal shelters adopt the no kill model. Why? Because when Marina found that 5500 pets were killed every day in shelters across the US, and there was a fully-functioning no kill shelter open admission model saving lives every day, both she and Mark felt compelled to do something. That something turned out to be a big idea: A permanent museum, housing 5500 paintings of dogs who did not make it – a tribute, an eye-opener, a fundraiser, and a catalyst for change.

“It will take Mark 2 years to paint, what we kill in one day! Using Art for Social Change, we will raise $20 million dollars, to be donated in its entirety to no-kill shelters, rescue groups, and towards other medical needs, spay and neuter costs, rehabilitation programs, and the very important pro-active marketing campaigns.”

Listen to Mark and Marina talk about what they are doing to raise that money, where they are in this process, and how this project has changed their lives. If you want to be involved, you can help by using your skills. Social change takes more than money. For more information, get in touch with Marina or Mark at, and join them on Facebook.



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  2. […] The world’s first and likely only dog art museum is a memorial intended to bring visitors from everywhere to a tranquil space, bringing to the forefront the magnitude of what is happening. We toss numbers around and think nothing of 4 or 5 million dying each year, Marina remarked. Seeing these thousands of  paintings of dogs in one space will inject the emotional component to bring those numbers, oddly enough, to life. The realization that many of those dogs could have had a different story is part of the mission. The no kill solution will be an educational component of this registered not-for-profit, and the museum will be the source of funding for no kill shelters and rescues. That’s a big idea! Check out the interview and see how you can be part of this project. […]