It’s easy to ignore statistics. They’re cold and dry and lack soulful eyes. And when the numbers are overwhelming — like the 5,500 unwanted dogs who are put to death daily in U.S. shelters — we tend, as a rule, to find life is more comfortable and less depressing when we don’t do the math.
Louisville artist Mark Barone is an exception to that rule. Rather than ignore the problem, he decided to put a face on it — 5,500 of them, in fact.
For two years now, he has been painting portraits of dogs who have been put down at shelters across the country, and he’s more than halfway to his goal: 5,500 portraits that he hopes will someday — unlike their subjects — find a forever home.
Their hope is the works will someday be displayed in a permanent memorial museum, which — between its emotional impact and the funds it would help raise for no-kill rescues and shelters – could help lead to their larger goal, a no-kill nation.
Mark, a well-established artist, had moved to Santa Fe when, about three years ago, he lost his dog of 21 years, Santina.
“It was kind of a sad time, and I thought it would be therapeutic for Mark to go to the dog park,” Marina recalled. “I thought it would be helpful for him to get some dog love, and it was. It was really great. It got me in the mood to think about adopting another dog. Mark wasn’t at that stage, but it didn’t stop me from looking.”
Looking for adoptable dogs online and at local shelters, she quickly learned the sad reality that she says neither she nor Mark, up to then, were aware of — that millions of dogs in need of homes are put down at shelters every year.
“Instead of finding a dog, I found out all these horrifying statistics,” she said. She shared them with Mark, along with images and videos of dogs who had been, or were on the verge of, being put down.
He asked her to stop sharing, but she kept up.
“If we don’t look at it, nothing will change,” she said. “So he looked at it, as painful as it was, and day or two later, we were standing in the kitchen and he asked me the number of dogs killed everyday in the country … I gave him the number 5,500, based on statistics from Best Friends.”
It was then that the idea of honoring shelter dogs by painting 5,500 portraits of those who had been killed was born, and along with it, the longer term plan of a memorial museum, along the lines of the Vietnam Memorial and the Holocaust Museum.
Santa Fe wasn’t interested. Louisville was among about 30 places that were.
That’s where the couple lives now, and where Mark has completed about 3,200 of the portraits — some of them life- sized, some of them larger.
“It’s the big ones, 8 feet by 8 feet, that slow things down,” Mark said.
Only one of the 8×8-foot paintings depicts a dog who died a natural death — Mark’s dog, Santina. According to Marina, Santina will serve as the gatekeeper of the exhibit. Other large portraits feature Batman, a 10-year-old pit bull who was left outside in 21 degree weather, and was found dead at a shelter the next morning, and Grant, who was deemed unadoptable due food bowl aggression and put down.
The large paintings — there will be 10 of them — will include the individual stories of those dogs, representing the most common reasons shelters give to put animals down.
Mark and Marina are still looking for a permanent place to house the works, and for sponsors and benefactors for the museum, and they have some promising leads, both in Louisville and around the country. In addition to being an educational center, the museum would also be an outlet for selling merchandise that features the images – shirts, cards, and other products. An Act of Dog, which is a nonprofit organization, would pass on all profits to no-kill facilities and rescue groups.
The dogs in the paintings come from shelters all around the country. Their photos are submitted by rescue groups, volunteers and shelter employees. They have all been put down.
Mark and Marina object to the use of the term “euthanized” when it’s applied to healthy animals. “Deliberately ending the life of a healthy and treatable pet is killing. Deliberately ending the life of a medically hopeless and suffering pet is euthanasia,” Marina said. They don’t much like “put to sleep,” either.
“Semantics are a powerful way to keep people from the truth and our mission is to show reality without the candy wrapping,” she added.
Mark paints everyday, from sunrise to sunset. At night, he and Marina work on the An Act of Dog website. They’re both foregoing salaries at this point.
Mark has served as a consultant to cities interested in using the arts to revitalize blighted areas, among them Paducah, Kentucky, and its Paducah Artist Re-locaton Program. Marina worked 20 years coaching corporate executives.
“We could turn away and pretend like we didn’t see what we saw, or we could do something about it,” she added. “If that means we have to live poor, we’re OK with that, because we know we did something.”
They’re working now in studio space provided by the Mellwood Art Center in Louisville, where they did end up adopting a new dog, named Gigi, from a local shelter.
What drives the couple, though, are all the dogs who don’t get out alive — the thousands put down each day.
“The no-kill movement is making strides, but not fast enough,” said Mark who, on those days he doesn’t feel like painting, reminds himself of the bleak numbers, and the 5,500 reasons — every day — he must continue.
(Photos and video courtesy of An Act of Dog: At top, a collage of Mark’s paintings; Mark and Marina in their studio; some of the larger paintings, with Mark’s former dog, Santina, at left; and three shelter dogs dogs Breeze, Freckles and Sky)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: act of dog, an act of dog, animal welfare, animals, art, artist, death, dogs, euthanasia, faces, holocaust museum, kentucky, killed, killing, louisville, marina dervan, mark barone, mellwood art center, memorial, museum, no kill nation, no-kill, painting, paintings, pets, portraits, project, put down, put to sleep, rescues, santa fe, shelter, shelter dogs, shelters, statistics, vietnam memorial
Fox News is reporting that country singer Mindy McCready’s fatal shooting of her own dog before she commited suicide Sunday was “not an act of malice at all.”
Fox quotes an unidentified friend as saying, “Mindy really loved her dog … It would have been more of a case where she just didn’t want to leave the dog alone.”
Not to speak ill of the dead, or to suggest rational behavior should be expected from those in the clutches of mental illness, but there are better ways of securing a future for your dog when you’ve decided you no longer want one for yourself.
And to describe an act like that as anything close to kind-hearted is just plain wrong.
A better description — even if the misguided thinking behind it was a hope they would end up in the same place in the hereafter – would be selfish.
McCready, who had attempted suicide twice earlier, had reportedly been depressed since the father of her youngest child, record producer David Wilson, died earlier this year from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound. That took place on the same front porch where McCready shot the dog and herself.
“Based on what we have found at the scene at this time, we do believe that she took the life of the dog that we are being told by family members belonged to Mr. Wilson before she took her own life,” said Sheriff Marty Moss of Cleburne County.
McCready’s two sons, aged ten months and six, were removed from her home by a judge on Feb. 6. After that, McCready was committed to a rehabilitation facility for mental health and alcohol abuse examinations, but released two days later.
“She didn’t really have a support network and coming home to an empty house seems to be what really did it,” the source told Fox News. “It is tragic. She was a sweet and kind girl at heart.”
Whatever other morals her tragic life holds, however kind her heart was, whatever her legacy might be, one thing stands out — given the course she chose for her beloved dog — about her messy end:
How much more tragic the story might have been had her children not been taken from her.
(Photo: Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: addiction, alcohol, animals, arkansas, children, cleburne county, country, david wilson, depression, dog, dogs, drugs, fox, fox news, friend, heart, irrational, killing, kind, malice, mental health, mindy mccready, news, not, pets, rational, report, shooting, shot, singer, source, suicide
Animal control officer Jodi LeBombard had just stepped into the grisliest investigation of her career — the serial slaying of what would turn out to be 13 Italian greyhounds — when she opened a closet door in the apartment of their suspected killer.
Inside was a white Italian greyhound, bruised and bloodied and weighing about three pounds.
LeBombard, a deputy for Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter, removed the shaking puppy from the home of Michigan State University medical student Andrew David Thompson on June 21, 2011.
“I really didn’t believe that she would (survive), but I had hopes that she would,” LeBombard said. “She was pretty injured.”
The dog known as Chloe No. 2, was taken to Southside Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Joyce Heideman diagnosed internal bleeding and fluid in the dog’s lungs. Heideman also doubted the dog would live.
But, to everyone’s surprise, Chloe No. 2 lived, becoming the lone survivor of the 13 Italian greyhounds that Thompson would, at one point, admit to having killed in fits of rage, mostly by throwing them against the wall or floor, or grabbing them by the neck and beating them.
Sometimes they died instantly, sometimes, like Chloe 2, they lingered for a few days. After one Italian greyhound died, Thompson, 24, would buy another.
The State News in Lansing told the story of the lone survivor last week, including it’s happy ending: Renamed Jezabelle, the dog now lives with Heideman and the veterinarian’s five other dogs.
Heidman said it was three days into the lethargic puppy’s recovery that she saw some hope. When taken out to go to the bathroom, the puppy saw a small leaf land nearby and, with a sudden burst of energy, pounced on it.
“That was the first time I knew she would actually live because she showed there was something in there,” Heideman said.
Six days into her recovery, Heideman adopted the puppy, taking her home to live with her two boxers, two labs and a one-eyed pit bull Heideman rescued after he was abused with a baseball bat.
“I never really thought I would actually adopt her, but I kind of fell in love,” she explained. “She snuggles up next to you, and you just feel like, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter what happened today, I’m just happy now.’”
Despite her abuse, Jezabelle isn’t skittish or anxious around humans. “She seems to be a very loving and kindhearted dog that wouldn’t hold a grudge against anyone,” Heideman said.
Thompson, who was suspended from medical school after his arrest, faced 13 felony charges of animal killing in Okemos and East Lansing. He ended up pleading guilty to three of the charges and was sentenced in June to five years probation.
Judge Paula Manderfield said she saw little benefit in incarcerating him. She mandated he continue to receive psychiatric treatment, pay more than $5,000 in court fines and restitution, perform 400 hours of community service and work at least 30 hours per week.
Heideman, like many, found that sentence way too light.
“People who write bad checks get more time in jail than somebody who killed (13) dogs,” she said. “There’s something wrong with our legal system.”
More than a year after saving the puppy from a closet, Deputy LeBombard — to whom Thompson initially confessed – still drops by Heideman’s animal hospital to visit the dog.
“I get to go over there and give her hugs,” LeBombard said. “You can’t even hold her she’s so squirmy. She’s a sweetheart, and she couldn’t have gotten a better home.”
(Photos: The Italian greyhound now named Jezabelle; by Natalie Kolb / The State News. You can find more photos of Jezabelle here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andrew david thompson, andrew thompson, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, chloe, chloe 2, cruelty to animals, dogs, east lansing, italian greyhounds, jezabelle, jodi lebombard, joyce heideman, killed, killer, killing, lone survivor, michigan, michigan state university, okemos, pets, probation, sentence, serial murderer, southside animal hospital, survivor, veterinarian
After rattling off a farcical list of “problems” for which there is no cure — infantile baldness, bulimic insomnia, backwards baseball caps — comedian-actor Kevin Nealon makes it clear to viewers of this public service announcement that there is one we can do something about:
The senseless killing of thousands of adoptable animals each year in Los Angeles city shelters.
In this spot for No-Kill Los Angeles, Nealon brings a little humor to a serious situation. Using his deadpan style, accompanied by poignant piano music, he reels off a long list of “unsolveable” problems, then he makes his plea:
“There are a lot of problems out there,” Nealon says. “Here is one you can do something about — homeless pets. Go to NKLA.org to find out more about how you can help. Let’s make LA a no-kill city forever.”
NKLA is a campaign of Best Friends Animal Society and its goal is to end the killing of animals in Los Angeles shelters by 2017. About 17,000 animals die in city shelters every year.
NKLA billboards can be found across Los Angeles, featuring the larger-than life faces of dogs and cats, flanked by the initials NKLA, an acronym for “No Kill Los Angeles.”
Nealon spent nine years on the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” appeared in movies such as “Anger Management,” “Joe Dirt,” and the “Wedding Singer,” and is a regular on the Showtime series, “Weeds.”
The NKLA spot was produced by Let There Be Dragons, which is affiliated with the advertising agency TBWA\Chiat\Day.
iN aPRIL, Nealon, along with Oscar winner Hilary Swank and other celebrities, helped roll out the NKLA campaign, which includes a broad coalition of animal rescue groups and shelters led by Best Friends Animal Society, with support from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the LA City Council, and LA City Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette.
Members of the NKLA coalition include Found Animals Foundation, Kitten Rescue, Stray Cat Alliance, Downtown Dog Rescue, FixNation, Karma Rescue, and Best Friends.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, best friends, campaign, cats, deadpan, dogs, euthanasia, homeless, humor, kevin nealon, killing, los angeles, nkla, no kill los angeles, no-kill la, problems, psa, public service announcement, rescues, saturday night live, shelters, solving, video, weeds
To get inside a live dog’s brain, at least as one scientist sees it, you must first get the dog inside an MRI, which turned out to be a pretty big challenge for researchers at Emory University
In an effort to get a better grasp on what dogs are thinking, Gregory Berns, director of the Emory Center for Neuropolicy, sent his own dog and others into an MRI — not with the use of force or restraints, but after training them to willingly enter the noisy, claustrophobia-inducing machine.
That was no simple task, as the video above shows, and as he recounts in the current issue of Psychology Today.
The knowledge gained from all that work? Hardly earth-shattering, but it’s a beginning that could end up leading to some amazing places:
“Critically, we found that the reward system of the dog’s brain behaves very much like the human’s. When Callie and McKenzie saw us giving a hand signal that indicated they were about to receive a hot dog treat, a part of their brain called the caudate lit up with activity. This is the same part of the brain that in humans becomes active when we anticipate something good about to happen. In fairness, this was exactly what we expected, because all animals have reward systems that respond to incentives.”
The research was inspired by the dog that took part in the Navy Seal raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, Berns said:
“This should not have been particularly surprising, and certainly not to anyone associated with the military. Dogs had been part of military units throughout the 20th century. But the fact that a dog had helped kill the most wanted man in the world was something special. It showed that dogs were not just companions. Even though it could have no concept of democracy or freedom or individual liberty, a dog had helped defend a way of life…
“After learning the incredible things these dogs can do, I resolved to figure out what was actually going on in the mind of man’s-best-friend by using the tools of my trade: brain scanning technology.”
Berns started out with his own dog, a feist named Callie, and a border collie named McKenzie. Researchers watched what went on in their brains as they responded to two human hand signals.
But it took a long time to get to that point.
“ … We were naïve, and there were many hurdles. Ultimately, we wanted the dogs to walk up a set of steps into an MRI scanner, and shimmy inside a ‘head coil,’ which detects the signals from the brain but looks like a small birdcage lying on its side. Once in the coil they would need to put their head on a chin rest and remain absolutely motionless. A few millimeters of movement would completely destroy the image quality. And one more thing: when the MRI is running, it sounds like a jackhammer.”
Because of the scanner noise, the dogs had to be trained to wear ear muffs. All the dogs were allowed to quit the experiment at any time. “We used only positive reinforcement,” he said. “Just food and praise.
Berns said the research started year ago and is aimed at answering “the eternal question of what dogs are really thinking. More specifically, we wanted to know what a dog is thinking when it looks at its human owner.”
“As a lifelong dog owner, and currently living with dogs #6 and #7, I would like to think that I know something about what goes on in my dogs’ heads … If you saw me walking the feist you might naturally conclude that I really knew what she was thinking. After all, I talk to her like a person. Never mind that she doesn’t respond. We have developed a relationship that transcends human language. We gaze into each others’ eyes like people do. So surely there must be a bond there.
“Or is it all one-sided? Is the dog-human bond all a sham, albeit one played willingly by both parties, with the dog getting food and shelter in return for making goo-goo eyes at its owner, and the owner getting a simulacrum of undying love?
Berns believes “gazing into our dogs’ brains is like a portal back in time. We now have the tools to see how they see us. We can see the things activating in their heads that our hominid ancestors selected from the dogs’ wolfen brethren. And now we can see it from the dog’s perspective…
“Now we can begin to answer questions like: can dogs map human emotions onto their own feelings, in other words, do they have empathy? How much language do they understand? Just because they don’t speak doesn’t mean they can’t tell what we are saying.”
To learn more about The Dog Project, go here.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, border collie, brains, callie, dog, dog brains, dogs, emory center for neuropolicy, emory university, empathy, experiment, feist, gregory berns, killing, language, mckenzie, mri, neuroscience, osama bin laden, pets, psychology today, raid, relationship, scanner, science, the dog project, training
The commissioners decided Thursday that the county dog shelter will no longer euthanize with carbon monoxide.
“We’ve been working on this since October and the fact that the commissioners have finally listened to the citizens of Athens County and that our dogs are going to be treated humanely … it’s amazing,” Sarah Robles, co-founder of Athens County Animal Advocates, told WOUB.
A resident of the county, Les Cornwell, offered to pay for the dismantling of the gas chamber.
He even agreed to rebuild it should the county — as it has done before – decides to return to using the gas chamber, the Athens News reported.
The county had attempted to switch to lethal injection earlier, but says rising costs forced it to return to gassing.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, athens county, athens county animal advocates, county commissioners, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanizing, gas chamber, killing, lethal injection, ohio, pets, shelters
In yesterday’s clip from the award-winning documentary “100,000” we met a man named Anibal who — though virtually homeless himself — struggles to feed some of the stray dogs that populate the town of Guayama in Puerto Rico.
In today’s, we meet another man named Anibal, this one a shelter worker who sincerely believes he is doing dogs a favor, too – by killing them.
He lethally injects about 100 a day; sometimes the sick or aggressive ones, sometimes, when there are no more empty kennels, the healthy ones. At Puerto Rico’s other shelters — and there are only a handful — the same holds true.
Across the territory, about 500 dogs are euthanized a day — 92 percent of those that enter shelter, according to the documentary.
All this week on ohmidog! we’ve been featuring the documentary, which looks at dog overpopulation in Puerto Rico and some of the people and organizations — such as Island Dog — that are working to solve the crisis.
“100,000,” directed by Juan Agustin Marquez, depicts the bleak existence stray dogs face on the beaches and streets of Puerto Rico, where they are commonly abandoned and abused and often die slow, cruel deaths.
“That’s why I prefer euthanasia before these animals end up like they really end up,” Anibal Rodriguez explains as he goes about his duties, hoisting another dog from a kennel to be injected. “If this animal hadn’t been picked up … this animal would have died in agony on the streets.”
As he sees it, he’s preventing suffering.
“When I first started working, it was hard. As a human being, one has feelings. I have seen so many abuses cases that I prefer that it’s done through small lethal injection rather than a dog getting brutally killed by a person…
“It’s a job that has to be done.”
(Tomorrow: Director Juan Agustin Marquez accepts an Emmy award, and asks Puerto Ricans to take a pledge)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 100000, abuse, anibal rodriguez, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, beaches, documentary, dog, dogs, emmy, euthanasia, euthanize, island dog, juan agustin marquez, killing, lethal injection, neglect, pets, puerto rico, rescues, shelters, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, streets, suffering
The attorney for Andrew David Thompson, the former Michigan State University student charged with killing 13 Italian greyhounds, is seeking to suppress incriminating statements Thompson made during questioning by an animal control deputy.
Thompson’s trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 5.
In Ingham County Circuit Court yesterday, Judge Paula Manderfield heard arguments from Stacia Buchanan, who said her client was not read his Miranda rights by the animal control deputy who questioned him.
Prosecutor Jeff Cruz argued that Thompson was not coerced or threatened during the interview and had every opportunity to leave if he wanted, and that the evidence regarding the dogs was allowed in a preliminary hearing.
Animal control deputy Jodi LeBombard testified in a preliminary hearing that Thompson told her during questioning that he killed the dogs out of anger, mostly by throwing them to the ground, against a wall or by grabbing them by the neck and beating them.
He purchased the dogs mostly over the Internet from breeders.
The judge said she would review video of the interview and transcripts from the preliminary hearing before making a decision, according to the Lansing State Journal.
Thompson, 24, who is suspended from MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, faces 13 felony in two counties on charges of animal killing or torture in the deaths of the Italian greyhound puppies from September 2010 to June of 2011.
(Photo: Lansing State Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, andrew david thompson, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, courts, cruelty to animals, dogs, investigation, italian greyhounds, killed, killing, lansing, lawyers, michigan state university, motions, pets, pre trial, preliminary hearing, questioning, serial, statements, student, torture, trial
Accused dog killer Andrew David Thompson — charged with choking, throwing, beating, kicking and killing 13 Italian greyhounds — was released from the Ingham County Jail yesterday after his bail was lowered to $50,000.
He was released after $5,000 was posted on his behalf.
As a condition of his release, Thompson will wear a monitor that will track his location and will have to adhere to a curfew, staying home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
He plans to live with friends in an apartment in Okemos, the State News reported.
Thompson, who was suspended from Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine after he was charged, had been detained for more than three months.
Thompson is from Arizona, where his family resides.
After Thompson’s bail was reduced last month, the director of Ingham County Animal Control expressed concerns about his release. Jamie McAloon Lampman said he could be a danger both to animals and witnesses who testified against him, as well as a flight risk.
“This guy has more than one red flag,” she said.
(For previous coverage of this case, go here.)
(Photo: State News)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: andrew david thompson, animal cruelty, animals, bail, bond, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, ingham county, italian greyhounds, killing, lansing, michigan, michigan state university, murder, okemos, pets, released, serial
They both killed dogs, then went on to even greater achievement, fame and fortune in their respective professions — Vick as an NFL quarterback, Otterness as an artist.
But both are still dogged by their pasts, and both seem to imply that’s wrong — that those who keep bringing up the dogs they killed should forgive and forget and let them get on with their lives.
Boo. Freakin’. Hoo.
Otterness, a Brooklyn artist who once shot and killed a dog and called it art, has just landed a $750,000 city art contract for the Central Subway in San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Vick, meanwhile, will have to subsist under the terms of the $100 million contract he recently signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
In June, the board of directors of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved a contract with Otterness for 59 bronze sculptures for the proposed subway’s Moscone station. (The board was unaware of the incident in Otterness’ past — even though it has reared its ugly head several times before.)
“Tom Otterness is a world-renowned sculptor who has been commissioned by government agencies around the world to create major permanent public art projects,” Susan Pontious, who pilots the San Francisco Arts Commission’s public art program, said in a statement. “The Central Subway Artist Selection Panel chose Otterness based on the strength of his proposal and his impressive portfolio of past sculptural work.”
We can only guess Otterness doesn’t list his dog-shooting movie on the resume.
Otterness has repeatedly apologized for the 1977 film project. He was 25 when he bought a small black and white dog from an animal shelter, chained it to a fence and then shot it. He filmed it for a work entitled, “Shot Dog Film.”
But the artist, like the football player, has learned that — no matter how much remorse is expressed or, in Vick’s case, time is served — some people aren’t willing to let bygones be bygones when it comes to slaying dogs.
“You do not let an animal shooter put up 59 sculptures in your subway system,” said Anita Carswell, director of the Guardian Campaign for In Defense of Animals. “This is a slap in the face of the city. It’s going to be offensive to everybody that rides the subway, a reminder: ‘People who shoot dogs for stupid reasons get rewarded.’”
As Carswell noted, San Francisco is named after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
In a recent New York Observer article, here’s how Otterness responded when the dog killing was brought up:
“What the f— do I do with this? Certainly the scene it was part of, it was in the context of the times and the scene I was in … It is something I’ve grown to understand that nothing really excuses that kind of action. I had a very convoluted logic as to what effect I meant to have with that video. Whatever I had in mind, it was really inexcusable to take a life in service of that.”
Posted by jwoestendiek September 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, apologies, art, artist, contract, criticism, dogs, killed, killing, memory, michael vick, moscone station, past, pets, quarterback, remorse, san francisco, shelter, shot dog film, subway, tom otterness