Stray thoughts: Tails of two cities
I’m over-stating, and over-generalizing, but it’s interesting to me — and indicative of our collective schizophrenia when it comes to dogs — to compare what’s going on in the two cities when it comes to strays.
Fayetteville is making plans to round them up. The city council is considering contracting with a private outfit out of Texas that will send four “hunters” to track them down, shoot them with tranquilizer darts and turn them over to the county animal control office, where, most likely, they will be euthanized.
St. Louis is having an art exhibit.
Stray Rescue of St. Louis, an organization that rescues and adopts out dogs that have been abandoned, abused or found wandering the streets (all, amazingly, without the aid of tranquilizer guns), is holding it’s second installment of “Urban Wanderers,” a fundraising exhibition in which area artists paint, photograph and sculpt images of dogs in its care.
In conjunction with the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, the exhibit opened July 15 and runs through August 28.
The focus of this year’s exhibit is the bully breeds, and the misconceptions surrounding them.
“Urban Wanderers will showcase pit bulls’ many positive characteristics, such as gentleness, loyalty, attentiveness, and athleticism, and attempt to dispel the false perception that the pit bull is born aggressive and dangerous. The pit bull is proof that dogs thrust into dog fighting and other deplorable conditions are victims of human callousness and cruelty.”
The artworks include the painting above, by Michelle Streiff, of Pietra, a dog who was found abandoned in the backyard of a vacant house at the age of six months.
Despite being on her own, living as a stray, in the wild, she’s “outgoing, playful, friendly, loving and just an all around wonderful girl,” according to the staff of Stray Rescue’s shelter, where she’s available for adoption.
(You can find and bid on all the featured artwork — including some by the dogs themselves — via this page.)
The art displayed in the exhibition, at Saint Louis University Museum of Art, can be bid on until August 28. All proceeds will benefit Stray Rescue of St. Louis, funding its efforts to pull dogs off the streets, socialize them and find them new homes.
Stray Rescue of St. Louis was founded by Randy Grim, a former flight attendant-turned groomer-turned full time dog rescuer. He has written two books, Miracle Dog and “Don’t dump the Dog,” and is the subject of another, “The Man Who Talks to Dogs.”
“Feral dogs are the untouchables; they are the ones who ”belong” to no one,” he writes. “They are the hold-outs, the animals under-funded pounds can’t catch and overburdened humane shelters can’t deal with. They colonize whatever neighborhoods afford them the best shelter, the most food and the least amount of contact with human beings. They exist, like genetic castaways, in the evolutionary no-man’s-land between domesticity and wildness. They are completely, utterly, alone.”
For more of his take on feral dogs — the extent of the problem, how to capture them, and rehabilitate them, and how to address the problem without nooses, guns, violence and euthanasia — you can look at this web page he put together.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 25th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, animal control, animals, art, art exhibit, bully breeds, darts, dogs, euthanasia, fayetteville north carolina, feral, guns, hunters, pets, pit bulls, randy grim, rescue, shelter, shooting, st. louis, stray, stray rescue of st louis, tranquilizer, urban wanderers, wild