If you’re into dogs and art, there’s an event in December in Massachusetts that might interest you. And while you’re enjoying the art, you can know you’re improving the lives of animals who really need help.
Artist and animal lover Jane O’Hara is donating the proceeds from her Best in Show, Artists and their Dogs exhibition to the Companion Animal Protection Society. I interviewed Deborah Howard who founded the society and is its president. She is a woman who was horrified by the condition of a dog in a pet shop, and that was her motivation to start a society that has grown and is now putting puppy farms out of business, and giving companion animals a better quality of life.
You can hear Deborah's interview in Episode 57 of DogCast Radio.
It’s a lesson for us all, that one person making a stand can make a difference. It’s also a lesson never to be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. I read a quote from Winston Churchill the other day, and it rang true with me – “You have enemies? Good that means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
I’m not advocating riding rough shod over anyone, or blindly arguing your case. What I’m saying is that if you feel in your heart that something is wrong, you should do your best to do something about it.
I believe puppy farms and having dogs for sale in pet shops is wrong, and I will do my best to support those fighting to put that to an end.
There’s more information below about CAPS and the artist Jane O’Hara.
Best in Show
Artist Jane O’Hara donates proceeds from Brickbottom Gallery Show to Companion Animal Protection Society
WHAT: Join the Companion Animal Protection Society, Artist Jane O’Hara as well as local artists for the Brickbottom Gallery ‘s “Best in Show, Artists and their Dogs” opening reception.
WHEN: Opening Reception: Sunday, December 7, 4:00pm-6:00pm. Gallery will be ongoing from December 4th 2008 to January 10, 2009 from 12:00pm-5:00pm Thursday to Saturday.
WHERE: Brickbottom Gallery, 1 Fitchburg St. Somerville, MA 02143, 617-776-3410.
WHY: Increasingly concerned with the plight of animals in today's society, Jane O'Hara has contributed to animal causes by donating proceeds from her artwork to organizations such as The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS). Jane O'Hara received her BFA in painting in 1978 from the School of Fine Arts, Boston University. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles for many years and enjoyed a different perspective both in the environment and art scene from her New England roots. It was in Little Compton that O'Hara focused on her passion for the animal world. Animals found their way into her paintings, and they never left. Most of Jane's recent artwork reflects this — some animals reside in her paintings with humor, some sad or bewildered with the situation she paints them into.
In 1989 when Deborah Howard noticed the cramped and unsanitary conditions at a Docktor Pet Center she became enraged. The company had more than 300 franchises at the time. Ms. Howard joined forces with Robert Baker, the foremost puppy mill investigator in the country. Theses investigative efforts generated two ABC "20/20" exposes and articles in both People and Life Magazine. These exposes took on the pet shop industry head on producing an ABC 20/20 piece, as well as, coverage in both Life Magazine and People Magazine in which Docktor was named directly; and showed the horrors of puppy mills. As a result of their efforts, Docktor Pet Centers, who refused to do business without the sale of puppies, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in February 1993. Ms. Howard started CAPS in 1992. Mr. Baker is CAPS' vice-president.
About Brickbottom Artist Association:
The Brickbottom Artist Association (BAA) is dedicated to preserving and expanding the arts in Somerville and the greater Boston area. The BAA’s annual Open Studios, now in its 21st year, is one of the oldest in Boston. Year-round, the Brickbottom Gallery presents professionally curated art exhibitions as one of Somerville’s few not-for-profit contemporary art galleries. BAA fosters a stable, permanent artist community of Brickbottom residents and non-resident members. BAA promotes and supports its members and their artwork through art openings, BAA gallery shows, membership benefits, and other programs. Through community outreach and involvement, free lectures, and scholarship awards, the BAA strives to expand an awareness of the arts that enriches the Boston community at large For more information on BEST IN SHOW, please call Debra Olin, gallery coordinator at 617-625-4962