An Act of Dog
  • Portraits of Shelter Dogs

    When Kentucky-based artist Mark Barone's dog, Santina, died after 21 years together, Barone's partner Marina Dervan suggested they adopt a new pet. But after realizing how many animals are euthanized in shelters, a new mission revealed itself: to heal a broken system. Barone began painting the portraits of doomed shelter dogs to raise awareness, titling the project "An Act of Dog (AAoD)."
    An Act of Dog
  • Portraits of Shelter Dogs

    "When we first started, an organization called Dogs in Danger would post the upcoming kiill dates for dogs at the shelter," said Dervan. "The ones that didn't make it would go in to their memorial and we would paint them." Now, various rescues send AAoD images along with sad stories to be memorialized. Pictured (l-r): Santina, Barone's dog of 21 years, and Batman, who froze to death.
    An Act of Dog
  • Portraits of Shelter Dogs

    "Breeze was killed because she was shy and frail," according to Dervan. "But there is a no-kill solution, which more and more shelters are beginning to use. We are trying to raise awareness and spread education on the topic."
    An Act of Dog
  • Portraits of Shelter Dogs

    Dervan names all of the dogs after their pictures are sent in, as they only have number IDs at that point. "Diamond was killed because black dogs and pit mixes are the first in line after their five days are up," said Dervan.
    An Act of Dog
  • Portraits of Shelter Dogs

    Dervan and Barone are currently looking for a philanthropist or city to partner with to create a nonprofit museum for all of the images. "The more attention we get, the more attention the animals get and the mission gets," she said. Pictured: "Halo."
    An Act of Dog
  • Portraits of Shelter Dogs

    "Harry" was allegedly an owner surrender, "killed within hours because he was a pit bull," said Dervan. The 12x12-inch images take Barone 40 minutes to create, while the 8x8 foot creations require up to a week.
    An Act of Dog
  • Portraits of Shelter Dogs

    "When the rescue workers send us the pictures and stories of the dogs, they are usually devastated that they were unable to save them," said Dervan. "And then it energizes them because they feel like at least the dog is being honored and remembered." Pictured: "Manny," a pit bull.
    An Act of Dog
  • Portraits of Shelter Dogs

    An Act of Dog recently teamed up with a documentary filmmaker who will track the project until completion. Barone has nearly 2,000 portraits to go, according to <a href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/3016311/an-artist-paints-5500-portraits-of-doomed-dogs-and-each-one-will-break-your-heart#2">Fast Company</a>. This collage represents just 4% of the 5,500 paintings.
    An Act of Dog
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