I don't know how I didn't hear about this when it happened, but recently I read about Guillermo Vargas's art exhibit in Nicaragua. For those of you who managed also to miss it, the exhibit apparently featured a stray, malnourished dog tied to one wall of the gallery, with a bowl of food just out of his reach. Spectators were instructed not to feed or otherwise assist the dog, and it has never really been confirmed whether the dog was shown as being malnourished during gallery hours but then fed and properly cared for at night, or if the whole thing was as extreme as some news outlets have made it out to be.
It has also never been confirmed if the dog actually died or ran away from the gallery. Vargas has been quoted as saying that the purpose of the exhibit was to expose the hypocrisy of people focusing the center of their attention on a starving dog in a gallery as part of an exhibit, but merely walking by or ignoring starving dogs on the streets.
Either way, whether you agree with the exhibit or not, there's no denying that animal overpopulation is a horrible problem that doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. Of course not everyone wants to adopt a dog from a shelter, when it may not be a purebred or when they can't instill their own training in its upbrining, but buying dogs from pet stores is unacceptable and people should either buy directly from breeders or adopt stray dogs. Pet stores get most of their dogs from puppy mills which essentially stack cages one on top of the other, allowing the animals to defecate all over one another, interbreed their animals with members of their own litters, and are sometimes even killed when their fertility wanes. [Sources]
That's why I wanted to encourage everyone to visit Save a Dog, Inc. It's a Massachusetts-based humane society that focuses on abandoned dogs. On their website, you can sign a petition in support of the MA state bill (H.344) to end devocalization, a terrible process by which dogs' vocal chords are cut or otherwise altered to decrease barking.
Or, if you're thinking of adopting a dog...you can do that too ;).
If I had somewhere to keep him, I personally would bring home Jeff...he melts my heart: