Dogs Can't Vote... You Can.
An art exhibition raising awareness about Missouri's Puppy Mills Presented by the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation

Exhibition venues: (See photos taken at the venue locations)
Framations Art Gallery, St Charles, MO (March 20-April 3, 2010)
Show-Me Center, Cape Girardeau, MO  (March 19-21, 2010)
American Royal Center, Kansas City Pet Expo, (April 17-18, 2010)
 State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO (April 20, 2010)
Canvas Gallery, Springfield, MO (Sept 17 - Oct 1,2010)
St Louis Pet Expo, St Charles, MO (Oct 30, 2010) 

"Misery in Missouri: Dogs Can't Vote... You Can” is an art exhibit sponsored by the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation in conjunction with Framations Art Gallery. The goal of the exhibit is to shed light on the Missouri puppy mill problem through a visual means.  All of the artwork in this compelling exhibit was created by Missouri artists and includes artist comments, adding even more depth and emotion to the overall effect.   
      It has been 18 years since the Animal Care Facilities Act was passed, and yet Missouri still remains the “Puppy Mill Capital of the United States” due to its many unsanitary, overcrowded, and poorly regulated commercial dog breeding facilities. According to a state audit report released in July 2008, the Department of Agriculture had failed to inspect 40 percent of the state’s known licensed commercial breeders as required by law. Missouri has three times as many commercial breeders as any other state in the country.
     The Alliance is calling upon the public to become part of the exhibit by adding their signatures to a special interactive artwork called “Show Me” by local artist Ken Farris. The public will also be encouraged to not only contact their elected officials about puppy mills but also to vote yes on November 2, 2010 for Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.
    This 4th annual art exhibit toured Missouri thru October 2010.  Donations received will benefit Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation. 50% of Artwork sales from this exhibit benefit Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.
     Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation is a non-profit lobbying organization and was founded in 1990. Donations to the Alliance are not tax deductible. The Alliance is the only organization lobbying exclusively for animal welfare issues in Missouri. To learn more about the Alliance, visit www.maal.org.
 

"Show Me" by Artist Ken Farris


 "Show Me" by Artist Ken Farris (SOLD)

"As a Missourian, I want to show the beautiful part of Missouri to others, not the cruelty of puppy mills. It is shameful that Missouri is known as the puppy mill capital of the United States. Instead of showing cruelty, we need to show compassion. Missourians... show me you care about animal welfare & join me in signing one of the canvas panels to this piece.
Dogs suffering in mills can't vote for change... but we can."
Acrylic by Ken Farris of St. Charles, MO
 


"Not Enough" by Artist Heather Hoffman


"Not Enough" by Artist Heather Hoffman

Artist Statement: "Six inches on any side. That is all the USDA requires for each dog in a licensed facility. It's not Enough. No time outside of the cage is required. It's not enough. No rest between breeding cycles. It's Not enough. We are failing these animals. Sign the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act. Vote yes November 2nd, 2010. Then commit to adopting your next pet."
Mixed Media by Artist Heather Hoffman of St Charles, MO $250
 


"Throw" by Artist Aunia Kahn


"Throw" by Artist Aunia Kahn  $125

"I am an advocate for the healthy, fair and kinder treatment of animals. It is clear to see that ‘puppy mills' have become an outlet of pain and suffering for an industry based not on treatment but profit. In a time of breed celebrity, made popular by the famous and influential, puppy mills are reaping the rewards of overpopulation, breed degradation, and irresponsible breeding."
Photography by Aunia Kahn of St Louis, MO
 


"Puppy Mill Definition" by Artist Sena Carroz


"Puppy Mill Definition" by Artist Sena Carroz  $125

"The Definition of a Puppy Mill to me is: mean, hateful, cruel, heartless, slavery, unjust, abuse, Mistreat, betray, violate.... and above all... Evil."
Pen & Ink by Sena Carroz of New London, MO 
 


"Fight" by Artist Aunia Kahn

 
"Fight" by Artist Aunia Kahn $125

"All animals and breeds are sacred. Their fight for responsibility cannot go unheard. It is my hope, that through art, activism and speaking out, people will begin to realize all animals deserve a life of care, happiness and love. As my art depicts, love for an animal does not come in the form of their breed but the joy they can bring and enjoy. Please be responsible. Care for an animal here today, not the fads or predetermined breeding of tomorrow."
Photography by Artist Aunia Kahn of St Louis, MO


"Protection or Abuse I & II" by Diana Saffo Bono

 
"Protection or Abuse I & II" by Diana Saffo Bono $500each

Artist Statement: "When I became involved with the Alliance a few years ago, I realized I needed to become better educated regarding the plight of animals in our state. The more I learned, the more heartsick I became, thinking of the abuse we inflict on animals, large or small. For some it happens due to apathy or ignorance, for others it is unabashed cruelty, but for many I think we simply make the wrong choices. Being part of this exhibit allows me to use my artistic abilities to encourage others to do a bit of soul searching while becoming more aware of what is happening all around us. It is especially hard in this economic environment to look past our own circumstances. These are stressful times for many. But even in these difficult times, and perhaps because of them, we need to think about the choices we make. We choose our friends, our doctors, our churches. We choose more carefully how and when we spend our money. We choose our legislators. Perhaps now is the time that we, the people of Missouri, choose to make our voices heard? But we must be aware of what is happening in our state in order to effect change. In our state we allow the importing of exotic animals. Are most of us even aware that this is happening and to such an extent? In our state we still have dog fights. Although we are aware of this abhorrent practice, why does this continue? By now, most of us, as well as the rest of the country, are aware of Missouri's ranking and involvement with Puppy Mills. Why does this continue? Read more. Become more aware. Contact your legislators. Let them know that these issues need to be addressed; this mistreatment and abuse of animals does matter. These are important issues and we want change. All animals are deserving of compassionate care and respect. In my opinion, how we treat animals reflects on who we are as human beings and how we value all life. Do we choose protection through our legislation for animals exotic or otherwise, or do we allow the many faces of abuse to continue? By no choice and no voice, we support what is."

Created in Acrylic & Collage by Artist Diana Saffo Bono of Lake St Louis, MO


"There's NO Place like home..." by Sena Carroz

  

"There's NO Place like home..." by Sena Carroz $95



"There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's NO place like home! Puppy mills only turn out Cruelty....Plain and simple. Our pets deserve better. They deserve a good home."

Created in Pen & Ink by Artist Sena Carroz of New London, MO
 


"Puppy Hunter" by Mary Sue Moslanka

 

 "Puppy Hunter" by Mary Sue Moslanka $275



Artist Statement: "Many years ago, I went to a puppy mill in New Iberia (unbeknownst to me that is was a puppy mill). I had thought I was going to a nice family farm that sold Australian Blue Heelers. I was appalled at the sight of the dogs chained to little stumps in this huge yard of mass amounts of dogs. The owners claimed that the two dogs I bought had papers, which they did, but I really didn't care about that. All I could think of was saving these dogs from these horrible living conditions. I had never seen anything like this before. Twenty five years have passed, yet this experience haunts me to this day. Now, when I hear about puppy mills raided, it all comes flying back to me."

Created in Pastel by Artist Mary Sue Moslanka of Brentwood, MO
 


"Begging the Question" Jennica Abrams

 
"Begging the Question" Jennica Abrams SOLD



Artist Statement: "This piece also came to be at an animal shelter. The dogs just seemed to be asking me to take me home with their eyes, and it just broke my heart when they would put their paws up beneath the bars."

Digital photography by Artist Jennica Abrams of Olivette, MO
 


"Savior" by Mollie Chounard

  

"Savior" by Mollie Chounard $400



Artist Statement: "I made this piece to create a hero for this cause. A hero that embodies purity, faith, strength, conviction and hope. "The Savior" an arch angel is depicted ready to go forth into battle and fight on the side of good. With righteousness and light he will rid the world of greed alongside the souls of his fallen brethren. Notice that they surround him, fortifying him and lending him strength so that he will surely succeed."

Created in Pen & Ink on Bristol by Artist: Mollie Chounard of St Peters, MO
 


"Desperation" by Jennica Abrams


 "Desperation" by Jennica Abrams SOLD



Artist Statement: "I went to an animal shelter for this picture, and as soon as I stepped in the room, the dogs went crazy with excitement. The animals looked so depressed and desperate for attention."

Digital photography by Artist Jennica Abrams of Olivette, MO
 


"Tears of a Red Dog" by Larissa Rook

 
"Tears of a Red Dog" by Larissa Rook $150

Artist Statement: "This photo is of a stray pure-bred lemon beagle shortly after she was rescued. There is a good chance that she originally came from one of Missouri's notorious puppy mills. She was born with a defect that left her unable to breed. To a puppy mill, this would be a very unwanted trait. Many defective dogs are culled. Luckily she found her way to a truck-stop along Highway 44 where my husband saw her. She jumped into the car and into our hearts. My sister-in-law adopted her and she has been a part of the family ever since. This is not the outcome for most stray or puppy mill dogs. Shelters are full of purebred dogs that people have adopted and given away after the novelty wears off. Please do not support puppy mills. Adopt a stray or a pup from a reputable breeder."

Photography by Artist Larissa Rook of Belgrade, MO
 


"I Woke up in a Puppy Mill Today" by Stephanie Hulsey

 
"I Woke up in a Puppy Mill Today" by Stephanie Hulsey SOLD

Artist Statement: "Hundreds to thousands of pure breed dogs used as breeding machines, so dirty and unkempt that they, as individuals are unrecognizable, are living in horrid, torturous conditions throughout the state of Missouri. These animals are hidden from the public and viewed only as a source of income to their owners. The price the animals pay is inhumane treatment – overcrowding, no medical treatment, no human companionship, lack of proper shelter and nutrition. The poem expresses the pain and suffering of these animals and finally the joy in the rescue from the puppy mill, the care of kind humans, and the gift of a forever home. The pale color of the caged dog shows its bleak life while in the puppy mill. The more vivid colors in the other painting show the life and spirit in these animals throughout their journey."
Created in watercolor with original Poetry by Artist Stephanie Hulsey of Washington, MO

 


"Dogs Behind Bars" by Vicki Odenthal

 
 "Dogs Behind Bars" by Vicki Odenthal $100

Artist Statement: "Puppy mills in Missouri are not businesses that result in anything positive for the animals. The breeds are mass-produced according to their popularity. If pet stores which buy from mills are boycotted, the demand would disintegrate. Dogs should be purchased from reputable breeders or adopted from shelters."
Created using Drawing, Graphite, Prismacolor colored pencils, & acrylic paint by Artist Vicki Odenthal of St Louis, MO
 


"Forget Me Not" by Ann Combs


"Forget Me Not" by Ann Combs $150

Artist Statement: "This sad puppy, and so many like him, need rescuing from awful conditions of Missouri puppy mills. Nameless, but hopeful that one day he might get to run outside and chase butterflies. Longing for the day that he might feel the warmth of the sunshine on his shaggy coat and maybe find a loving home before it's too late."
Created on Acrylic on canvas by Artist Ann Combs of St Peters, MO
 


"Puppy Smiles Not Mills" by Larissa Rook

 
"Puppy Smiles Not Mills" by Larissa Rook $150

Artist Statement: "All puppies are born beautiful. There is something almost contagious about the smile of a puppy, no matter if they are pure-bred or not. This photo is of a beagle-mix puppy. He is happy because he was born in a clean, safe environment. He wants all puppies to be happy. But unfortunately, puppies born to puppy mills often do not get the chance. Puppy mill dogs are subject to horrific conditions. Please do not support puppy mills. Adopt a stray or a pup from a reputable breeder. And promote puppy smiles, not mills."
Photography by Artist Larissa Rook of Belgrade, MO
 


"No More...Please" by Carolyn Schlueter


"No More...Please" by Carolyn Schlueter $250

Artist Statement: "One's not bad ... ten's sad." Lions and tigers and bears .... oh my. It's raining cats and dogs. We need a healthy neutering and spaying umbrella. MAAL and Senator Joan Bray are working hard to introduce legislation via Bill SB 186, Healthy Pet Act, in the puppy mill capital of the Midwest that will better the lives of animals and stop legislation detrimental to animal welfare. YOU can make a difference in the overpopulation of pets in Missouri ... spay and neuter. Too many puppies and kittens ... no matter how cute they are ... can lead to homeless and abandoned animals in need of care and shelter. Be kind ... spay and neuter your scooter!"
Photography by Artist Carolyn Schlueter of St Charles, MO
 


"Longing" by Suzanne Lowry

 
"Longing" by Suzanne Lowry $125 (8x10 print $20ea)

Artist's statement: "The Belleville News Democrat recently ran an article that revealed the way that the Missouri puppy mill problem has spilled into neighboring states. A no kill nonprofit kennel in O'Fallon, Illinois, was seeking people to adopt 37 dogs who were the overflow from a Missouri rescue shelter which had already accepted more dogs from a puppy mill than they could house. Many were in poor health and had sores on their feet from walking on chicken wire. Most had been bred for Christmas sales that did not materialize. Some required extensive veterinary care. All were scheduled for destruction. My granddaughter's weekly trips to the pet store to "see puppies" have begun to take on a more somber tone, as I wonder where these little animals originated. Obviously accustomed to walking on wire-bottom cages with little human contact, most are usually sleeping as though they have been tranquilized. The look of longing on the face of this puppy was heartbreaking, as though he had given up hope. The adoption fee for the shelter dogs was $150 to $200, less if they had not required extensive veterinary treatment. The pet shop was charging upwards of $500. It is difficult to understand why more people do not adopt. There are just way too many puppies to go around. Pet shops would buy from reputable breeders, if effective legislation forced the puppy mills out of business."
Photography by Artist Suzanne Lowry of Swansea, IL

 


"On Our Way to A Better Day" by Ken Farris

 
 "On Our Way to A Better Day" by Ken Farris $400

Artist Statement: "If Missouri animals could walk down the yellow brick road & ask for one wish to be granted, I know it would be for an end to their suffering with more humane laws. They would ask our legislators to let them live their lives without fear & under humane conditions. I'm sure they would love to see a day when rescue organizations were no longer necessary in our society. Thru peaceful legislation, I know that this dream can become a reality. If Lions & Tigers & Dogs & puppies could, I know that they would join with us in these lobbying efforts. As concerned citizens about animal welfare, it is not only our responsibility but also our duty as caretakers of this planet to see to it that only better days are ahead for these animals."
Created in Acrylic by Artist Ken Farris of St Charles, MO

 


"Lucky" by Jessica Dreyer


"Lucky" by Jessica Dreyer $250

Artist Statement: "Lucky is a female golden retriever rescued from a Missouri puppy mill after years of breeding and countless large litters of puppies. She was nursed back to health by her loving adoptive parents. But I question the plight of her puppies. The faded paw prints represent all the puppies she had that did not make it. These puppies either succumbed to disease, inbreeding, or the overall poor conditions they had to endure in their short little lives. The darker more prominent paw prints represent her puppies that did survive, but where are those puppies now? Were some of them brought into the endless circle of abuse & breeding to replace the old puppy mill breeding dogs? Were they sold to unsuspecting owners who wonder why their new little puppy is flea or parasite-infested or why they are having kidney or liver problems at such a young age or why their hair is falling out or they have gone blind or deaf?"
Created in mixed media by Artist Jessica Dreyer of St Charles, MO

 


"Spanky" by Melanie Coy


 "Spanky" by Melanie Coy $125

Artist Statement: "This photo of "Spanky" was taken during the seizure of 10 dogs from a residence in Cape Girardeau County, 09/27/08. This is what I saw when I first walked into the clearing where seven of these dogs were chained to trees. There were three four-month old puppies housed together in what could only be described as a rabbit hutch. I believe this photo puts a face on the need for tougher abuse/neglect laws in the state of Missouri."
Photography by Melanie Coy of Cape Girardeau, MO

 


"Before & After" by Phil Kline

  
"Before" by Phil Kline $50
Artist Statement: "Frankie and Natasha, pit bull pups, were found abandoned at a Kansas City Chiefs game. A kind family picked them up and brought them to a local shelter. There they were told that the pups were malnourished and suffering from "stress mange", and that they would be euthanized. They were referred to MABBR. Madelyn and I became their foster parents. Subsequently I picked Bully Porter a young, in tact, male running loose as he was trying to cross four lanes of traffic on Southwest Boulevard near the Boulevard Brewing company. Porter had old and recently tended scars on his neck and ears. He was also very thin. These are our foster dogs. This was shot shortly after we got the pups. We don't see this weary, forlorn sort of expression from Natasha much anymore. You can see the hair loss from the mange. Natasha (center), Frankie (right), Minty, our Shar-Pai- Shepherd mix (left)."

 
"After" by Phil Kline $50
Artist Statement: "The warm security of a loving home where a pit bull is a beloved family pet first and a bulldog second. Natasha, front, Frankie, back." 

 Photography by Artist Phil Kline (Mid America Bully Breed Rescue, Kansas City Dog Advocates) of Kansas City, MO


 


"Animals Are Sacred" by Artist Aunia Kahn

  
"Animals Are Sacred" by Artist Aunia Kahn,  Photography $200

"All animals and breeds are sacred. Their fight for responsibility cannot go unheard. It is my hope, that through art, activism and speaking out, people will begin to realize all animals deserve a life of care, happiness and love. As my art depicts, love for an animal does not come in the form of their breed but the joy they can bring and enjoy. Please be responsible. Care for an animal here today, not the fads or predetermined breeding of tomorrow."
Artist Aunia Kahn of St Louis, MO.
 


"Lucky Dogs" by Artist Ken Farris


"Lucky Dogs" by Artist Ken Farris  


SOLD M: Acrylic "This family of rescued pets lives the good life with their family in a warm loving home with lots of space to play. Not all pets are so lucky, though. Over 4 million dogs alone are put to sleep each year, because there are not enough people to adopt them from shelters. So WHY do people still buy dogs & cats from pet stores? Why do they feed an industry of cruelty when they could be a hero to a special shelter pet? If consumers adopted instead of purchasing pets, puppy mills would shut down. There would be no financial reason to stay open. And if there is no money to be gained from the cruelty, then the cruelty would end."
Artist Ken Farris of St Charles, MO. (8x10 Prints available $30.00 each)


"Dogs Can't Vote" by Artist Ken Farris

 
 "Dogs Can't Vote" by Artist Ken Farris

$350 Media: Acrylic "To my mind, to stop the "Misery in Missouri", we have to have caring and compassionate elected officials running the government. If we already have laws on the books that are not being enforced then I think it is our obligation to learn as much as we can about the candidates and vote for the people that we think will be compassionate and enforce the laws to protect our animals. I really believe if a person is not caring and compassionate about animals then they will be just as uncaring and uncompassionate when it comes to us. So, dogs can’t vote, but I can."
Artist Ken Farris of St Charles, MO


"Wanted: Good Owner" by Artist Sena Carroz


"Wanted: Good Owner" by Artist Sena Carroz

SOLD M: Pen & Ink "Once again I was forced to look at animal cruelty for this show. And, once again I could not believe we even have to have an art show to help correct this problem. The words cruelty and animals should never, ever, be in the same sentence together. It is impossible for me to understand the kind of world we live in where this is a concern. Please help us stop the puppy mills in Missouri and put an end to senseless animal cruelty."
Artist Sena Carroz of Hannibal, MO
 


"Forever Silent" by Artist A. Wilson

 
"Forever Silent" by Artist A. Wilson

$160 M: Digital Photography "Many puppy mill owners silence their breeding dogs in their puppy mills to keep them from barking & raising attention to their facilities. They often silence these dogs by ramming a steel rod down their throats & thereby shattering their vocal cords. These dogs will never again be able to cry in agony when they are in pain, or if lucky enough to be rescued, bark happily when their new owner adopts them."
Artist A. Wilson of Florissant, MO.
 


"Prisoners of Profit" by Artist Aunia Kahn

  
"Prisoners of Profit" by Artist Aunia Kahn  

SOLD Media: Photography "I am an advocate for the healthy, fair and kinder treatment of animals. It is clear to see that ‘puppy mills’ have become an outlet of pain and suffering for an industry based not on treatment but profit. In a time of breed celebrity, made popular by the famous and influential, puppy mills are reaping the rewards of overpopulation, breed degradation, and irresponsible breeding."
Artist Aunia Kahn of St Louis, MO. (16x20 Prints available $100 each)
 


"Trash or Treasure" by Artist Diana Saffo Bono


 "Trash or Treasure"  by Artist Diana Saffo Bono

As an artist my artwork has always been a celebration of life. Life should be treasured, and animals, especially dogs, enrich our lives in ways too many to number. As a Missourian, I am appalled that we are one of the top states perpetuating and benefitting from a situation as abhorrent as Puppy Mills. We are a throwaway society and the Puppy Mill industry is a testament to that. Awareness is the first important step. If people would do something as simple as choosing a puppy from a reputable breeder, or better yet, adopting from their neighborhood animal shelter, we can make a huge difference. As you are viewing the works entered in this show, think about what you are seeing. Ask yourself if this is just another "cause", or is it something that is worth a second thought. And, if you are about to buy a puppy for your family, please consider very carefully where you will make your purchase.
Artist Diana Saffo Bono of Lake St Louis, Missouri


"Got the Puppy Mill Blues" by Artist Ken Farris

 


 "Got the Puppy Mill Blues" by Artist Ken Farris

The credit for the idea for my this piece (and my favorite entry) goes to my wife, Dee. We were discussing possible titles for entries into this competition and she came up with "Got The Puppy Mill Blues". I thought this was such a good title because to me it sums up my feelings about the subject of the show.
Artist Ken Farris of St Charles, Missouri


"Tortured Animals" by Artist Sena Carroz

  

"Tortured Animals" by Artist Sena Carroz 

Tortured Animals.... Those two words should never go together. Unfortunately, they do quite often. Most animals are quite helpless against us. They only want to love & be loved. They are just like children. they reflect what they are taught. If they are beaten or tortured, they will of course become mean. Why that should ever happen is beyond me. Animal cruelty is as offensive to me as any other crime, maybe worse. Animals cannot protect themselves against inhumane people. My wish is to stop animal cruelty. They are all just little kids needing good homes.
Artist Sena Carroz of New London, Missouri 


"Recycled" by Artist Jessica Dreyer

 
"Recycled" by Artist Jessica Dreyer  

$100 M: Photography "What will her fate be??? Will she be bred to produce countless litters of pups in a puppy mill? Will she replace another breeding dog, who can no longer produce more puppies? Will her hundreds of puppies be sold at pet stores only to be recycled through the humane societies later? When she no longer can produce puppies for the mills, will she be recycled as fertilizer in the fields or become part of a landfill? While her fate has yet to be decided, her life will continue to consist of hunger, sickness, confinement & misery in a a Missouri puppy mill. When it comes to dogs, recycling should never be an option."
Artist Jessica Dreyer of St Charles, MO.
 


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