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"Misery in Missouri" 2008/2009
An Art Exhibition raising awareness about Missouri Puppy Mills.

Misery In Missouri 2008/2009 Video TourThe "Misery in Missouri" Art Exhibition toured the state of Missouri in 2008/2009. This exhibit included works created Missouri artists united in the cause to combat puppy mills. Presented by Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation and sponsored by Framations Art Gallery.
The venues included in the Missouri tour included:
     Springfield, MO Drury Poole Art Center Gallery (Sept 2nd-12th, 2008) (View Photos)
     Columbia, MO Boone County National Bank Gallery (Sept 16th-25th, 2008) (View Photos)
     St Charles, MO Framations Art Gallery (Oct 6th-Nov 2nd, 2008)
     Kansas City, MO St Andrews Christian Church (Jan 21st - Feb 1st, 2009)
     Kansas City, MO: Simpson House (Feb 24, 2009)

                             View Press Coverage of the exhibition

Misery in Missouri 2008/2009

"Animals Are Sacred" by Artist Aunia Kahn

"Animals Are Sacred" $200 Photography

"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.

"Black & White" by Artist Diana Saffo Bono

"Black & White" SOLD M:Mixed Media Collage

" I created this mixed-media collage on a 10 X 20 museum wrapped 1 3/8" deep canvas. The background and all edges are black. The image of Missouri and where the image overlaps three sides, is white as is the applied animal images. As an artist, my artwork has always been a celebration of life regardless of subject matter or medium. As an adult artist, there are situations that demand my attention and my talents. When I was a child I saw life in terms of black and white, right or wrong. There were no in-between or grey areas. Skewed thinking, like my image of Missouri, is often based in reality. After all, animals are animals-they are not human. I think that many of the individuals that are involved in this "Misery in Missouri" would be described in their communities as loving family members, trustworthy friends,and compassionate people. I am appalled that Missouri is one of the leading states perpetuating and benefiting 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. As you are viewing the works entered in this exhibit, think about what you are seeing. Ask yourself if this is just another "cause" or something that is worth a second thought? . If we would do something as simple as choose a puppy from a reputable breeder or adopting from a shelter, we could make a difference. We need to contact our legislators and let them know that this is a situation we will no longer tolerate. If you are about to purchase a puppy for your family consider very carefully where you shop for that puppy. Or, would your family be just as happy with a puppy or an older dog from a shelter?"
Artist Diana Saffo Bono of Lake St. Louis, Mo.

"Boycott PuppyMills & Dance the Mutt Cracker Suite" by Artist Jill Flinn

"Boycott PuppyMills & Dance the Mutt Cracker Suite" by Artist Jill Flinn

SOLD M: Mixed Media: Artist Statement: "The dogs in this piece are expressing their joy of being rescued. Puppy mills are prisons of greed. Why buy a 'pure-breed' dog when so many millions are waiting to be rescued? Taking a hands-on approach to this thought, we currently have 27 dogs in our out-of-pocket no-kill shelter funded solely by art work the dogs inspire with their stories & antics. A few miles from a puppy mill north of Glasgow, MO, we rescued 2 starving, heart worm positive, abandoned, pregnant dogs. They were obviously bred by an assortment as the 16 pups between the 2 of them were a variety of colors, spots, and brindles. They are all doing well now, grateful and living the good life. Forgiving creatures of hope that they are, they live in the moment and give back to us more than we ever give them. It is this joy which radiates from the dogs through my mixed media. Always a texture hound, I've looked for ways to make my paintings more textural. So, I decided to sculpt them first in a sculpture compound called paperclay. I add polyurethane to the surface and dry brush layers of acrylics over it, enhancing the textures. The subject matter is from my life. I always say, "when life gives you abandoned dogs, make abandoned dog art!"
Artist Jill Flinn of Glasgow, MO

"Lucky Dogs" by Artist Ken Farris

"Lucky Dogs"

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"

$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"

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"

$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.

"Puppy Mill Companion" by Artist Jessica Dreyer

"Puppy Mill Companion"

SOLD M:photography "While many people think the term, 'puppy mill' means any substandard commercial dog breeding operation, there are far more than puppies being produced. Catteries have been found to operate alongside abusive mills. And along with the dogs & cats, don't be surprised to hear about the birds, small mammals, reptiles & many other animals being mass produced thru pet breeding operations & then sold thru retail pet stores. More than 90% of all animals sold in pet stores are the products of mass breeding operations. Please bypass the pet stores & adopt from an animal shelter."
Artist Jessica Dreyer of St Charles, MO. (8x10 Prints available $30.00 each)

"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.

"Please Adopt Me" by Artist Lisa Ober

 "Please Adopt Me"

$400 M:12x12 Oil on Panel "Awwwwww...Here is the second in the series of shelter puppy paintings. Their little faces are so heart-tugging, aren't they? Who could resist adopting one of these little fuzzballs?"
Artist Lisa Ober of St Charles, MO.

"Wishful Thinking" by Artist Jessica Dreyer

"Wishful Thinking"

SOLD M:Photography "I am a Yorkshire Terrier, the 9th most popular breed in the United States. Unfortunately, this makes me vulnerable to be one of the top breeds to be cruelly abused in puppy mills alongside other breeds of all shapes & sizes. A countless number of breeding Yorkshire Terriers can be housed in a very small area & can be easily hidden from the authorities. Recently, 200 of my relatives were rescued from a suburban garage. Their breeder was turned in by a neighbor. I'm cute, smart, cuddly & worth my weight in gold but I wish I could speak....I would have so much to say. But most of all, I wish I could vote so I could help pass legislation to help all creatures who are victims of greedy breeders."
Artist Jessica Dreyer of St Charles, MO. (8x10 Prints available $30.00 each)

"Dogs of the Alliance" by Artist Ken Farris

 "Dogs of the Alliance"

 SOLD M: Print "One of the best reasons to create art is to spotlight social issues that are close to my heart. Over the last couple years, I have been commissioned to create many dog portraits for members of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation. These lucky dogs have owners who are passionate about the welfare of animals. If all Missouri pet owners voted, we could defeat puppy mills in Missouri."
Artist Ken Farris of St Charles, MO (11x11 Prints available $35.00 each)

"Saving Daisy" by Artist Virginia Heisler

"Saving Daisy"

SOLD M: Photography "Daisy was called a 'flawed dog' & therfore was discarded by a puppy mill as un-sellable. Flawdogs, a puppy rescue group in Missouri, rescued her & gave me the opportunity to enjoy this sweet little girl. Daisy was extremely frightened of people when I brought her home and had a bad cough (most likely kennel cough contracted at the puppy mil before she had been discarded). Even with vet care, because of her small size, the cough developed into pneumonia and Daisy almost died. She is pictured here in the hospital trying to stay alive. She did live, and is a very important part of our family. Daisy was saved. I wish I could save them all. I think Daisy is perfect!"
Artist Virginia Heisler of St Peters, MO.

"Cold, Wet Noses Warm the Heart" by Artist Lisa Ober

"Cold, Wet Noses Warm the Heart"

SOLD M:12x12 Oil "Each time I paint one of these puppies I remember my own dogs as puppies. There's nothing like the smell of a puppy and those little cold wet noses. A puppies first 6-8 weeks should not be in a filthy, overcrowded puppy mill."
Artist Lisa Ober of St Charles, MO. (12x12 Prints available $75.00 each)

"Prisoners of Profit" by Artist Aunia Kahn

"Prisoners of Profit"

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)

"Shiloh" by Artist Sandy Karsten


Media: Charcoal $150 "Who can look in a dog’s eyes and not see the love there waiting to come out? The eyes of a dog are the windows into their being. Any dog treated with love and care & the necessities of food, water and shelter will repay their care giver with affection. A perfect dog is a healthy dog, not a pure breed raised under deplorable conditions."
Artist Sandy Karsten of O’Fallon, MO

"Buddies" by Artist Suzanne Lowry


$295 M:Soldered copper,red jasper,quartz "Everybody needs a best friend. What would you do for your best friend? Would you do absolutely anything to make her happy? Would you promise to love her, take care of her needs, and keep her safe from harm? What about “Man’s Best Friend”? Will you help to pass legislation to do the things that you just promised?"
Artist Suzanne Lowry of Swansea, Illinois

"Puppy Sale" by Artist Marie Mason

 "Puppy Sale"

$850 M: Mixed Media "The puppy mill misery is not such an easy subject. I think we all want to turn our head from this unthinkable cruelty. Breaking the circle that creates this horrific situation is the key. My painting attempts to show that circle."
Artist Marie Mason of Weston, MO

"Save the Puppies!" by Artist Lisa Ober

"Save the Puppies!"

$400 M: 12x12 Oil on Panel "How do we save the dogs & puppies from Missouri puppy mills? I think the best thing we can do is change the laws to make it so hard for these mills to operate that they stop being in business. The penalties need to be raised & enforced so that puppy mill owners have real fear of prosecution. SO get out & vote! Make sure your representatives in Missouri know how strongly Missouri cares about animal welfare. Change the laws & change a dogs life forever." With any luck I'll be able to help dogs, like this pup, in my own little way through the sale of these paintings. This painting is a part of a series I have created in an effort to help shelter dogs find permanent and loving homes. The subjects are actual shelter dogs and puppies. This puppy is from the Marion Animal Shelter at which my sister volunteers. So many dogs & puppies from Puppy mills wind up in animal shelters. Please opt to adopt your next furry friend."
Artist Lisa Ober of St Charles, MO.

"Basset Hound #597" by Artist Emily Saltsgaver

"Basset Hound #597"

$900 M:Acrylic on canvas 36x48 "When I look into the eyes of a dog I see love, loyalty, and vulnerability. Their eyes are capable of telling a powerful story if we are willing to listen. Basset Hound #597 is about courage and the amazing spirit of an ordinary dog. It is about survival. There are so many nameless dogs that need our help. Are we ready to listen?"
Artist Emily Saltsgaver of Aurora, MO

"Oliver" by Artist Sandy Karsten


Media: Charcoal $150 "I am a dog lover and I especially love the dogs that are forgotten at humane societies. If no one sees them, I do. I have brought home many dogs this way. The cruelty of puppy mills is just that - CRUEL! Puppies are living things and affectionate if treated with affection."
Artist Sandy Karsten of O’Fallon, MO

"Hoping For A Home" by Artist Lisa Ober

"Hoping For A Home"

$400 M: 12x12 Oil on Panel "Not only do puppies from animal shelters need good homes, but so do the rescued mother dogs from Missouri puppy mills. After spending their lives confined, without human contact, in filthy conditions, they need extra love & support to become the dogs they were meant to be. So many dogs & puppy from puppy mills wind up in animal shelters. Please opt to adopt your next furry friend."
Artist Lisa Ober of St Charles, MO.

"Jeliza Roses" by Artist Larissa Rook

"Jeliza Roses"

SOLD M: Photography "This photo is of a working dog. She lives on our farm and watches over a flock of goats. She is half Great Pyrenees and half Coonhound. We could have gone to a breeder or puppy mill to obtain a full-bred Pyrenees, but we chose to adopt a mixed-breed puppy who needed a home. She is an amazing dog that exceeds expectations. Please consider adopting a stray or mixed-breed instead of supporting puppy mills. You won't be disappointed."
Artist Larissa Rook of Belgrade, MO

"Friend or Foe" by Artist A. Wilson

"Friend or Foe"

SOLD M: Photography "When we purchase a pet from a pet store, the staff becomes like your best friend, & tells you that their puppies came from a responsible breeder. How can that be, when over 90% of dogs sold in pet store come from puppy mills? Are they really your friend, or are they your foe?"
Artist A. Wilson of Florissant, MO.

"Woof 1: Be my Voice" by Artist Carolyn Schlueter

 "Woof 1: Be my Voice"

$350 M:Digital Photo Collage "Hopefully the "voice" in this picture and all the entries in this "Misery in Missouri" art exhibition will make people more aware of the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation and help bring an end to the horrific and cruel conditions man's best friend suffers in puppy mills 365 days of the year."
Artist Carolyn Schlueter of St. Charles, MO.

"Puppy Mill Momma" by Artist Dotty Storer


"Puppy Mill Momma" by Artist Dotty Storer

Daisy, a purebred Shih Tzu, was a puppy mill mother in Missouri. She retired at the age of 11 years and was adopted by my next door neighbor. Although she had been better cared for than most puppy mill dogs, her health was poor and she only lived another 15 months. The original photo was taken in 2005 and this picture was created and printed on acid free paper in 2008.
Artist Dotty Storer of Manchester, Missouri

"St Bernard Rescue Dog" by Artist Mollie Chounard


 "St Bernard Rescue Dog" by Artist Mollie Chounard  

This piece was originally created to promote hope, but the mood in the painting suggests otherwise. It was created with the idea in mind that there is already a lot being done to help the cause, but more help is needed. There is only so much that a St. Bernard with a keg full of medical supplies can do.
Artist Mollie Chounard of St. Peters, MO

"Trash or Treasure" Artist Diana Saffo Bono

 "Trash or Treasure" 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

"The Skeleton Puppy Series" by Mollie Chounard

"The Skeleton Puppy Series" by Mollie Chounard

I started working on pieces for this show to help raise awareness about the horrors that go on in Puppy Mills. I knew bad things were happening, I'd heard rumors, but I wasn't really prepared to see for myself. The research for this show was very gruesome and difficult to get thru. There were many times when I had to force myself to keep going, and several of the images will haunt me forever. It has made such an impression on me that I feel it is important to share my new found knowledge. Many of the puppy mill images I found in my research were emaciated and pathetic. In this series I wanted to take that thought furthur. The colors, the looseness of the drawing, and the background were intended to create an eerie atmosphere, almost like the subjects had just been excavated. It was important to me that people see the ultimate results of puppy mills.
Artist Mollie Chounard of St Peters, Missouri.

"Dr. Schnauzer" by Artist Ken Farris


"Dr. Schnauzer" by Artist Ken Farris 

As an artist, this has been a very rewarding project for me to work on. I love dogs and I love a challenge. The challenge was coming up with an approach to the theme of the competition and then executing it in the time available. The first painting I created for this exhibit was "Dr. Schnauzer's Class". This concept evolved after I started making a list of everything a puppy is besides being biodegradable.

Artist Ken Farris of St Charles, Missouri

"Scenic Puppy Mill" by Artist Mollie Chounard

 "Scenic Puppy Mill" by Artist Mollie Chounard

This piece was the most challenging to pull off. "Scenic Puppy Mill" depicts this Utopian place where puppies are raised and loved before being adopted out. It's only once you notice something isn't quite right with this image, that you really see the full picture. This piece depicts the face that puppy mills put onto the public, when in reality only horrors lie within.
Artist Mollie Chouard of St Peters, Missouri

"One Puppy Mill...." by Artist Jessica Dreyer

"One Puppy Mill...." by Artist Jessica Dreyer

ONE PUPPY MILL... HUNDREDS OF PUPPIES... SAVING THE MOTHER DOG'S LIFE... PRICELESS When I was photographing these puppies in a pet store window, I noticed a sign at the check out counter that said "Our puppies do not come from puppy mills". It was food for thought. Where do they come from then, since 99% of dogs sold in U.S. pet stores come from puppy mills? Don't believe everything you read.
Artist Jessica Dreyer of St Charles, MO

"Caged Without Cause" by Artist Jessica Dreyer


"Caged Without Cause" by Artist Jessica Dreyer 

He is a puppy less than a year old. He is housebroken, good with kids, loves other dogs and cats and knows several commands. He was surrendered by his owner to the Humane Society. Why was he surrendered if he was such a wonderful dog? I'm sure he thought..what have I done so wrong to be "Caged Without Cause".

Artist Jessica Dreyer of St Charles, 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

"Life Sentence" by Artist Jessica Dreyer

"Life Sentence" by Artist Jessica Dreyer

I visited the Humane Society several times and each time it got more difficult knowing that not all these animals would find a home. The eyes on this one year old female became a haunting reminder to me of her possible plight. If she could only talk. She was a stray picked up in the county. Was she turned lose to be on her own? Was someone looking for her? Did she jump a fence? I called her sweetie and would give her treats each time I stopped by to take pictures. I always made a point to visit her and talk to her as if someday she might answer me. One day when I came by she was gone, her cage occupied by yet another stray. I asked him what happened to sweetie, he just cocked his head and let out a whimper.
Artist Jessica Dreyer of St Charles, Missouri

"Puppies & Potting Soil DO NOT MIX" Jessica Dreyer

"Puppies & Potting Soil DO NOT MIX" Jessica Dreyer

One of Gods Creatures, yet so many are thrown aside without any remorse what so ever. It's a business without a conscious that doesn't care that puppies are a living breathing animal that have a personality and feels pain. That their parents are only feed and watered to produce and not to love and be loved back. To think that there are people in our society in this day and age who's only concern for these animals is quantity and quality and supply and demand is reprehensible.
Artist Jessica Dreyer of St Charles, Missouri

"Infinite # of Puppies for Sale" by Lori Cotton


"Infinite # of Puppies for Sale" by Lori Cotton

Road to no where. Blighted area with cages going on forever. Infinite number of Cages. One escaped pupppy looks back on the farm located in the hills of Pennsylvania.
Artist Lori Cotton of Portage, 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

"Auction Today" set of 2: by Artist Ken Farris

"Auction Today" set of 2: by Artist Ken Farris

This set of paintings is about dog auctions, from which many of the breeding dogs from puppy mills are acquired. The drawings were inspired by a conversation I had with Amy Wilson. She painted a vivid picture with words as she described her thoughts about how we would feel if suddenly we had visitors who did to us what is commonly done to our best friends. My only regret is it's too bad there wasn't a puppy Elvis onboard the flying saucer banging away on his guitar. Well, maybe next time.
Artist Ken Farris of St Charles, Missouri

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