RANCHO SANTA FE — Art for Barks, a relatively new nonprofit founded in Rancho Santa Fe, is garnering celebrity status attention and support.
This online nonprofit mobilizes animal theme artists, authors, and educators to assist animal rescue charities and service dogs. Its recent emergence is unique, and described by many, as magnetic.
Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian,” and world regarded pet training professional, Victoria Stilwell, have climbed onboard Art for Barks and support its mission.
Both Becker and Stilwell have authored numerous books and captured the attention of television audiences globally.
Lynn Moon, founder of Art for Barks describes Becker and Stilwell’s involvement as one of substance rather than status.
“They are leaders who are dedicated to making a difference,” said Moon, a Rancho Santa Fe resident. “They are willing to be creative and progressive to help pet parenting move to the next stage of sophistication; and, they understand we are attracting a more educated, perhaps more affluent, market that naturally has a desire for more knowledge and excellence.”
Becker said being in the media and the position he holds in the veterinary industry enables him to cross paths with powerful people all the time. When he met Moon, he was approached with this type of “power” and more.
“Almost never do I cross paths with people with purpose, passion and plan such as Lynn Moon,” Becker said. He continued, “How could I not agree to join such a powerful team working towards helping animals?”
While everyone has their own personal reason for partnering with Art for Barks, it is Becker’s hope that he can help pets and people live happier, healthier and fuller lives.
Becker went on to say that he wants to, “bring the awareness and availability of ‘Fear Free’ veterinary visits to pet owners everywhere.”
Also for her own reasons, Stilwell was intrigued with the Rancho Santa Fe nonprofit.
“Organizations like Art for Barks that act as advocates for service and rescue dogs while promoting educational literature and animal art as well as support positive reinforcement training, are not only at the forefront of important progressive action but are a delight to me personally,” Stilwell said.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, Stilwell said, she volunteered assisting therapy and support dogs brought from all over the country.
“This experience ignited a new passion in me. As an animal advocate I am happy to join with Art for Barks to support their endeavors and causes,” she said.
Art for Barks feels very blessed to have the support of a Dr. Marty Becker, a pet industry leader, who is also a terrific human being, Moon said.
And in regard to Stilwell’s support, Moon pointed out that once in a while a real leader emerges and Stilwell is one of them.
“Victoria is a gifted communicator with the courage to stand up and challenge dog training practices that are overly punitive,” Moon said. “Few people have the talent to create change. Victoria has the rare skill to cleverly challenge actions that are based on cultural habits, rather than fact.”
Moon said that Stilwell and her associates are changing the national practices in dog training. She hopes in some small way, Art for Barks can assist Stilwell in achieving her meaningful goals.
And it’s already happening.
Linda Michaels, who earned her master’s degree in psychology, is a North San Diego County Victoria Stilwell-licensed canine consultant and trainer. Likewise, she serves on the Advisory Board, is a behavior consultant, and a contributing writer at Art for Barks.
Michaels is regarded for working with some of the most difficult behavior cases at the San Diego Human Society.
“It is my calling in life to help create a cultural sea-change away from harmful dominance-based dog training devices and methods that are believed to arouse, not cure, aggression, by bringing scientifically endorsed protocols animal welfare ethics center-stage through education,” Michaels said. “Our beloved pets deserve no less.”
Moon believes those who follow the Art for Barks charity will become the future leaders in progressive pet care.
“More educated people understand that we are in a Renaissance era in animal science due to advances in technology,” she said. “Art for Barks is simply an impassioned conduit for the new information that can improve pet parenting.”
To learn more about Art for Barks, visit ArtforBarks.org