03:38 PM EDT 07/23/2015

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Credit: Marina Dervan and Mark Barone
Artist Mark Barone Paints Portraits of 5,500 Euthanized Dogs to Raise Awareness About the Plight of Shelter Animals

Artist Mark Barone Paints Portraits of 5,500 Euthanized Dogs to Raise Awareness About the Plight of Shelter Animals

Originally posted 06/26/2015 05:00PM

Stacked ten high, they span the length of two football fields and outsize Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings. But for Jacksonville, Florida, artist Mark Barone and partner Marina Dervan, the collective masterpiece of thousands of 12x12 portraits dubbed An Act of Dog is more than a work of art – it's a heartfelt call to action.

"A camera can't give an image soul," Barone says in the trailer for the upcoming PBS documentary on the project. "But an artist can."

To that end, Barone set out to paint the soulful faces of 5,500 shelter pets that were euthanized over the past few years – each portrait representing one of the 5,500 dogs lost to America's kill shelter system daily. That's 1.2 million dogs put down each year because shelters are simply out of space and the animals are out of time.

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Credit: Rolland E. Heagy
Therapy Dogs Bring Smiles to South Carolina After Church Tragedy

Therapy Dogs Bring Smiles to South Carolina After Church Tragedy

Originally posted 06/26/2015 09:35AM

Midpoint in the sorrow following the church shootings last week in Charleston, South Carolina, big slobbery dog kisses helped to spread comfort among the emotionally wounded.

As thousands of people rallied at a park across the bridge from the city on Sunday to honor the victims, Porsha (a St. Bernard) and George (a labradoodle), certified therapy dogs with the nonprofit, all-volunteer HOPE Animal-Assistance Crisis Response, went to work communicating peace and love in their own way.

Handlers Cindy Becker and Julie Scott say that their dogs offer relief to everyone – from first responders to trauma victims, to children who just want a kiss and a wag. "We let people approach us," says Scott told PEOPLE. "Our dogs offer unconditional comfort, even if it's just five minutes with this loving, calming animal."

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Credit: Courtesy Wags and Walks
Adopt Me! Anderson Is Ready to Hike or Snuggle, Your Choice

Adopt Me! Anderson Is Ready to Hike or Snuggle, Your Choice

Originally posted 06/19/2015 07:00PM

Home. Some pets never have one to call their own. We'd like to help change that by introducing you to an extraordinary adoptable pet every week. Today, meet Anderson, a sweet and silly American pit bull terrier currently being cared for by Wags and Walks in Los Angeles, California.

Although he's smaller than your average pit bull at 48-lbs., Anderson has a big personality to make up for it.

"What I love about Anderson is that he is happy wherever he is – he's happy to join you on a 5-mile hike or snuggle in bed all day with you on a lazy Sunday!" says spokeswoman Kayla Morrow. "He is only 1-year-old and has already had so much training under his belt, crate trained, house trained and knows his commands."

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Filed Under: Animal Charities, Dogs
Credit: Humane Society of New York
Adopt Me! Titus the St. Bernard Craves Country Life

Adopt Me! Titus the St. Bernard Craves Country Life

Originally posted 06/14/2015 08:00PM

Home. Some pets never have one to call their own. We'd like to help change that by introducing you to an extraordinary adoptable pet every week. Today, meet Titus, an 8-year-old St. Bernard currently residing at The Humane Society of New York in Manhattan.

Though this sweet pup – whose story came to us via the Mayor's Alliance for N.Y.C.'s Animals – grew up in a rural area, when his owner became ill and was no longer able to care for him, he ended up in the Big Apple. The 101-lb. pup is still adjusting to the change, but he really wants to return to country living.

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Filed Under: Animal Charities, Dogs
Credit: Scottish SPCA
Cat Left on SPCA's Doorstep with Sad Note

Cat Left on SPCA's Doorstep with Sad Note

Originally posted 06/05/2015 02:40PM

Mr. Pickles couldn't explain his predicament himself, so a note did it for him.

"Please look after this cat. It is being mistreated," read the handwritten note, left when the cat was abandoned early Monday morning on the grounds of an animal rescue center in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The semi-long haired cutie, who was named Mr. Pickles by the shelter, is a bit bashful but showed no apparent signs of maltreatment, according to the Scottish SPCA's website.

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Credit: Courtesy St. Francis Animal Shelter
Adopt Me! Ramsey Makes a Lazy Day Complete

Adopt Me! Ramsey Makes a Lazy Day Complete

Originally posted 06/05/2015 12:00PM

Home. Some pets never have one to call their own. We'd like to help change that by introducing you to an extraordinary adoptable pet every week. Today, meet Ramsey, a short-haired tabby currently living at St. Francis Animal Shelter in Buffalo, Wyoming.

This 1-year-old feline came to the shelter as a stray kitten, and he's more than ready to find his forever. If you're the type of person who longs for a couch companion to snuggle with, Ramsey is the pet for you.

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Filed Under: Animal Charities, Cats
Credit: Charleston Animal Society
South Carolina Dog Found with Muzzle Taped Shut

South Carolina Dog Found with Muzzle Taped Shut

Originally posted 05/29/2015 01:15PM

The Charleston Animal Society wants to find the person who did this to Caitlyn.

The 15-month-old dog's muzzle was taped shut with electrical tape this week and now the pooch may lose her tongue because the incident affected blood flow to the area, WLTX reports.

The society is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible.

Caitlyn is a stray in a neighborhood in North Charleston and on Monday, area residents saw her and recalled her looking healthy, the report said. But Wednesday, she was found on the doorstep of a home with the tape around her face.

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Credit: Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary
Adopt Me! Coach Will Bring Enthusiasm to Your Team

Adopt Me! Coach Will Bring Enthusiasm to Your Team

Originally posted 05/29/2015 09:30AM

Home. Some pets never have one to call their own. We'd like to help change that by introducing you to an extraordinary adoptable pet every week. Today, meet Coach, a beagle mix currently living at Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Hartville, Wyoming.

Coach came to the Kindness Ranch in August of last year from a research facility on the East Coast where he was used in dog food testing.

"All of our animals come from research facilities, at different ages and with different levels of socialization, but Coach was a friendly, happy-go-lucky dog right from the start," says companion animal manager Stephanie Bilbro. "Since arriving at the ranch, Coach has appointed himself the official greeter and makes sure nobody gets in the door without the proper 'hello' howl."

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Filed Under: Animal Charities, Dogs
Credit: Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist
Adopt Me! You Can't Help Falling In Love with Elvis

Adopt Me! You Can't Help Falling In Love with Elvis

Originally posted 05/22/2015 02:00PM

Home. Some pets never have one to call their own. We'd like to help change that by introducing you to an extraordinary adoptable pet every week. Today, meet Elvis, an adorable orange tabby who is currently being cared for by Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist (HOPE) in Wilton, New York.

One-year-old Elvis had a rough start in life. He came to HOPE at just 4-months-old after he was abandoned by his first owner. The heartless owner left only a big bag of dry food for the cat for weeks at a time and in turn Elvis had to fend for himself in desperate conditions.

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Filed Under: Animal Charities, Cats
Credit: Best Friends Animal Society
Let's All Stare at These Adorable Purritos (Hey, It's for a Good Cause)

Let's All Stare at These Adorable Purritos (Hey, It's for a Good Cause)

Originally posted 05/20/2015 04:00PM

There aren't many things on this planet we value more than a really, really good burrito.

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