“When there is violence to animals, there is likely violence to children and others who may be defenseless.”
I’m the youngest in a large family that included several dogs. As with most families, there were times in my childhood where I was teased by older siblings. In a rare instance it got out of hand, but I was fortunate enough to have a parent or other adult step in - never did my environment allow for any mistreatment of animals, our dogs or any others.
My parents may not have allowed this behavior to take hold in our family, but I certainly remember other neighborhood kids who would have wanted to “kick the dog” if they were picked on and in turn felt helpless. This environment is never acceptable.
Artwork by BZTAT
The issue of pet abuse and abandonment is deeply connected to the issue of child abuse and domestic violence. Both issues need to be addressed together, not one in isolation of each other. Truth be told, child welfare programs grew out of the efforts of animal rescue organizations who were seeing children in deplorable conditions when they were rescuing endangered pets.
To honor the quarterly Blog the Change challenge, and make a fresh commitment to act on behalf of animals, I decided to spread the word on a public art project designed to create awareness about the connections between animal maltreatment, child abuse & domestic violence - Okey's Promise.
Okey's Promise is the creation of Artist Vicki Boatright (AKA BZTAT), a talented woman I met at the pet blogging conference Blog Paws last year. She also is one of my subjects in the Influence Positively Interviews series.
The purpose of Okey’s Promise, named for a small rescued cat, is to create artworks that will be prominently viewed in the community to generate interest and awareness.
Okey’s Promise is a public art project designed to:
- generate interest in the often overlooked connections between animal abuse and other social concerns.
- promote dialog about the needs of animals, children and others most vulnerable in society.
- motivate community action towards eradicating domestic violence, child abuse and animal abuse.
"It is easy to ignore a fact sheet, but hard to dismiss a powerful public artwork that reaches out to you each day as you drive by it."
Okey’s Promise will begin with a large mural painted by Artist BZTAT (Vicki Boatright) to be hung on the side of a building in the Canton, OH Arts District. Hopefully the first mural will lead to subsequent murals being commissioned for the same purpose in other communities.
Here is how you can be the change for animals and kids. Funding is needed to assist with the purchase of art materials, studio rent, costs of hanging the mural, and the artist’s time spent creating the mural. A funding goal of $5,000 has been set as the minimum to initiate the first project.
January 27 is the fundraising goal deadline - Join us! Go to the Okey's Promise Kickstarter page and pledge to help.
Visit and Like Okey's Promise on Facebook
Learn more at Okey's Promise