Mark Barone and Marina Dervan are hoping to make the United States a no-kill nation for shelter pets. They have founded the non-profit “An Act of Dog.” Barone is an accomplished artist and is putting his talent towards helping shelter dogs by painting 5500 portraits of shelter dogs that did not make it out of shelters alive.
Barone and Dervan became focused on helping shelter dogs after Mark’s 21-year-old dog Santina passed away in 2010. Dervan went online to try to find Barone a new dog when she discovered just how many shelter dogs are euthanized every day. Each day roughly 5500 dogs are put to death. The two wanted to do what they could to fix this problem and combined their talents to create “An Act of Dog.” They sacrificed their jobs and their retirement savings to commit to this project.
Barone is planning on painting 5500 portraits of actual shelter dogs that did not get a happy ending. One for each of the dogs killed each day. He had never painted a dog before this project, but his ability to capture the dog’s personalities is remarkable. Over the past two years Barone has painted 3300 paintings.
Once Barone finishes all the paintings the goal is to have them displayed in a permanent museum that is devoted to raising funds for no-kill rescues and shelters. The paintings will also be produced on various products such as shirts and cards that will be available on an online store. All of the funds from those sales will be given to no-kill facilities and rescues. Finally the project hopes to educate and hopefully help create a no-kill nation.