An Act of Dog is a Sagacity Productions film directed by Russ Barry and produced by Bonnie Silva in association with PBS network KET.

5,500 - that's the average number of "shelter" dogs killed every day in the United States; about one every 15-16 seconds. But one artist is hoping to change these statistics by cultivating a new generation built on compassion. Mark Barone and his partner, Marina Dervan, have given up everything else to paint 5,500 portraits of euthanized dogs in order to memorialize their lives, illustrate the enormity of the loss each day, and to bring about a no-kill solution for all shelter animals. "A camera cannot give an image soul, but an artist can." By looking at these images, Barone and Dervan hope that people will cultivate compassion not only for the animals, but for each other.


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  • Jeanette

    We do care about this Mark!!! You are bringing awareness & helping the mission to make everywhere "no kill!" The senseless killing must stop! Healthy dogs must live!! God bless you & thank you!

  • Joyce Peterson

    Unable to adopt, but want to inspire others. Dixie, The Wonder Dog, is my brother's soul mate. He used to paint, but lost touch with it. Wanted to send this video to him, hopefully to bring painting back into his life...perhaps by painting his own 14 y/o dog's picture.

  • Esther

    Awareness and compassion: This would be a great PSA (public service announcement) for shelters. As having had shelter dogs, my heart aches for these dogs. They are full of love and gratitude. So grateful for this article, this amazing man and to all who pass it on.

  • Riandra

    Awareness. We adopted a shelter dog many years ago and he has been a wonderful companion and friend! All our pets over the years have been rescued. Bravo to both of you for following your passion!

  • Christie

    Bless you my friends, and bless the 5,500 dogs you immortalize on canvas. Please let us know where you are exhibiting, if people can make donations to your work, or purchase a painting if they can't adopt a dog! I have a 12 yr. old rescued greyhound, Cool Hand Luke, and 9 yr. old black lab, Audrey. I love them more than words can express. Thank you for your work and compassion.

  • Gale

    Being an adopter of 4 older dogs, my heart is always touched by the number of dogs that are in shelters. Your paintings will give people somethings to think about. ADOPT! Shelter dogs are the most loving, appreciative dogs you will ever find. God Bless you and your work.

  • Deborah

    You and your your paintings are creating awareness steeped in compassion. Your art portrays more than any words spoken. Thank you for honoring these dogs who deserved so much more other than to be killed because of no space or being an inconvenience. "No Kill" shelters exist and do work when people who truly care are dedicated to the cause. Perfect example is "Best Friends Animal Society". Bless these souls you have painted and honored. A beautiful gesture and many thanks to both of you, Mark and Marina!

  • Brian

    Thanks Team. Be encouraged in your Art Mark. Peace through Art. 1Earth.

  • Jordyn OKeeffe

    This work is amazing, inspiring and corageous but as a photographer I have to disagree that we cannot show the soul of our subject. Any art form in the hands of one with ability, love and courage can accomplish this

  • Jeanette Monast

    I have been in awe ever since I have seen Mark's work and dedication. It has to be so painful to do this and yet he and Marina have carried on using their own money and getting the word out. What a great and wonderful project this is!!!! Thank You once again.

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  • Check out An Act of Dog's interactive Museum of Compassion.
  • Watch how photographer â€‹Guinnevere Shuster's "photo booth" style portraits of dogs has helped get over 90% of the dogs at the Humane Society of Utah adopted.
  • Thinking of getting a pet? Adopt an older animal from your local shelter.

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