Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wall-E the Dog and Ron Burns Team Up to Help Pups Find their Furever Homes

Wall-E and Animal Artist Ron Burns Team Up
To Help Pups Find Their "Furever Homes"
A Miraculous "Tail" Of Survival

"Animals are such agreeable friends -
they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms"

-George Eliot

On February 18, 2011 Wall-E and his siblings were anonymously left in a rusty cage in front of the Sulphur Animal Shelter - a makeshift building housing a small amount of animal pens, fully-occupied by animals in search of their "furever homes" - located in Sulphur, Oklahoma. A decision was made by the staff veterinarian that due to the lack of space and the fear of disease, Wall-E, his siblings (and two other fully-healthy brown labs that couldn't be adopted in time) should all be put to sleep that night. When it was Wall-E's time, his first injection was done through a vein in his leg. He survived. His second injection was done directly through his chest cavity. The staff veterinarian checked for a pulse - none could be found.

The following morning, shelter volunteer and veterinary technician Amanda Kloski arrived to pick up another litter of puppies from Animal Control Officer Scott Prall - they too were scheduled to be euthanized due to over-population. Scott told Kloski, "There's a problem." He continued, "a puppy survived euthanasia last night. I found him this morning." "My heart dropped," says Amanda. "My first thoughts were - is he suffering?" she says. Thankfully, his tail was wagging. He was jumping up and down. He was simply hungry. What transpired over the late hours of February 18th into that early Saturday morning - how and when Wall-E awoke - we will never know. What is known is that Wall-E's survival is unexplainable - a miraculous "tail."

Kloski took Wall-E under her wings. She posted flyers and created a listing on She attempted to adopt him at an adoption event in front of a local grocery store to no avail. It was there, however, that he received his now-famous name when a little girl named Michelle, a member of the adoption team with her mother, called him Wall-E because like the Disney character - he too had escaped death. It wasn't long after that, that the story spread - "Despite euthanasia, Wall-E's tail is still wagging," one headline wrote. Another said "Wall-E, the abandoned puppy that survived a death sentence." His story was being told on social networking sites, international press, local evening news stories, internet news sites, Yahoo, the Associated Press - even making an appearance on CBS's Good Morning America. It was but a few days prior that Wall-E sat in front of a grocery store waiting to be adopted to no avail. Now, the adoption applications were almost too much to keep up with - approximately 3000 in total.

Meanwhile, Amanda thought "Why not?" as she stared at a Ron Burns print that hung in the veterinary office she works at. An e-mail came into Ron's inbox the following morning. "I heard the story a few days previous and, doing what I do, it moved me quite a bit," says Burns. Amanda wondered if Ron might be interested in painting a portrait of Wall-E to help benefit the building of a new shelter in the Sulphur / Davis, Oklahoma area - something they were desperately in need of. "How could I say no to helping?," asked Ron. Burns, a professional artist and philanthropist of 20 years who is internationally known for pioneering an art movement that features colorful portraits of dogs and cats, cleared his painting schedule to work on his portrait of Wall-E. "In capturing Wall-E's personality I decided to portray him in his forever home, relaxing on his favorite chair with a pillow that conveys his big heart and love for life," says Ron. It had then been pointed out to Ron by Amanda that Wall-E had a peculiar shamrock-shaped black spot in an even more peculiar place. "Next to him is a bouquet, again representing a "beautiful life", with a shamrock arranged above his head to symbolize his good luck as well as the real shamrock-like image on his behind," he added with a laugh. Two and a half weeks after entering his paint studio, Ron exited with a completed portrait of Wall-E. "When I saw the painting, I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. It's amazing. I said to myself that is Wall-E!" says Amanda. Ron pondered for a moment, then added - "In many ways, Wall-E's portrait is a representation of how I wish to see all animals - in their "furever homes. He may just be one little pup to some, but he has an amazing and powerful story to share. Hopefully... through my art, his story will continue to be told and it will ultimately benefit all animals in need of a home."

The piece truly contains all of the classic elements found in a Burns painting - the bright and vivid colors, the green couch and ornate furniture complete with dog-like features - and of course, a person's best friend. The piece will make you smile - but it also benefits a very important cause - the building of the Murray County Animal Shelter.

An open edition art print of Wall-E by Ron Burns is now available for order. 40% of each order will be donated towards the building of the Murray County Animal Shelter. Details can be found below or by clicking here.

Today, we now know that Wall-E is officially in his "furever" home. The happy ending that Amanda, Ron and thousands of others had all wished for is here. "If this isn't life imitating art, then I don't know what is," Ron says. "We still a lot of work left to do though - there are many more Wall-E's still out there that need our help," he continues. "Hopefully, through his story, my art and the support of others - we can help even more pups and kittens out their find their furever homes as well."

George Eliot once said that "Animals are such agreeable friends. They ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." How right he is. When Wall-E was to be euthanized, he didn't ask why. And when he was found alive the following morning with his tail wagging, jumping up and down at the excitement of simply seeing one of "us", true to his nature - he passed no criticisms. The same holds true for any other instance in the human / animal bond and that is why dogs are a person's best friend - deserving of our love, care and protection.

For more information about Wall-E, his portrait by Ron Burns and how your readership can support the building of the Murray County Animal Shelter, please go to

We ask that you please consider helping us tell Wall-E's "tail." On behalf of Wall-E and his four-legged friends, thank you for your time and consideration.

1 comment:

Jen said...

A heart-warming story! Good work Wall-E on persevering!