Once again the creative folks at Best Friends Animal Society have conceived a unique and poignant strategy to bring attention to abandoned animals: The 575 Project. This collection of art is the brainchild of contemporary artist and Best Friends co-founder Cyrus Mejia. Several years ago Mejia confronted a terrible statistic: Between four and five million companion animals are put to death annually in the U.S. Five million would equate a staggering 13,800 every day, or a heartbreaking 575 each hour.
The 575 Project is an educational tribute to these animals. Mejia collected a slew of cat and dog related items from animal shelters across the country to incorporate into his work for the exhibit. Many of the pieces are constructed out of 575 objects like "Carry Me Home" - the dog house pictured above which features 575 collars.
Mejia's project has appeared in several locations including the Senate rotunda in Washington, DC. Currently, The it's on view at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah as part of a larger, multiple artist exhibit called "Art For Animals." It runs through January 16 and a portion of all sales will benefit animal welfare organizations, so stop on by if you're in the area.
The number of homeless animals who are killed in our cities and towns every year is a true tragedy. The terrible reality is that the animals in the greatest jeopardy are the ones deemed "less than perfect" in one way or another - those who are too old or too young, those who may be deaf, blind, maimed, ill, injured, or even the "wrong" color. These cats and dogs are the ones who need us the most, and that is why I strive to spread the word about disabled pets. Although they may face unique challenges (and even a bit of special care), these animals still have so much to give - all they need is a chance.