Building on DiverseWorks’ long history of social activism through art, Barrio Dogs, Box 13, and DiverseWorks have teamed up to present No One’s Dog, a community-based project that uses art to bring attention to Houston’s animal overpopulation crisis. The project involves a photography exhibition at DiverseWorks (July 26 – August 9, 2014), a community awareness event at Box 13 ArtSpace (August 9, 5 – 7 pm), and a commissioned coloring book created by Houston-based artist Michael Bise. The coloring book tells the story of Rusty the dog (in English and Spanish), one of Barrio Dogs greatest success stories, and will be distributed free of charge.
There are more than one million homeless animals living in Houston, most of which reside in the city’s most impoverished communities. According to the 2010 Health of Houston Survey, stray animals are the number one neighborhood problem in Houston, ahead of crime and public services. Among the areas most affected are the poorest, where it is common to see injured, sick, pregnant, and nursing dogs—oftentimes in packs—roaming the streets and living in parks, alleys, vacant lots, and empty buildings. Sadly, dead dogs are ubiquitous, found alongside busy roads, in ditches, and even in dumpsters—the victims of cars, disease, starvation, or violence.