Once Arbor’s paintings started to get noticed, they were auctioned off to donate money to local shelters. The highest painting sold for $2,100, so not only is Arbor a great example of a shelter animal herself, but she also helps raise money for cats and dogs who need homes. “The message we like to convey to people is that you can find great dogs in the shelter,” said Henderson. “You don’t need to go to a pet store. They may not end up painting like Arbor, but they’ll be a loving companion.” With the help of social media, especially Facebook, Arbor started the No Kill Las Vegas organization for the shelter she came from. When her owners found out that the shelter wasn’t active or progressive in the killings of 60 percent of the animals coming in, they decided to do more on social media, showing what was happening in other cities like Seattle, Portland, and Kansas City, where 90 percent of the animals were being saved as part of the No Kill Movement.
Arbor the Dog PAINTING A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR SHELTER ANIMALS
Arbor and her owners held protests and rallies promoting the unfairness of the killing of animals, and the Ambassadog of Las Vegas even painted signs. Last June, the shelter set a five-year goal to become a part of the No Kill Movement. “I believe it’s from direct efforts of Arbor, because of her notoriety and Facebook presence, that she has saved thousands of lives,” said Henderson. “Arbor encourages people to adopt from local shelters and read up on cities that are saving animals rather than killing them.”
BY MEGAN BROWN, PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRYCE HENDERSON
The concept of creating a piece of imagery from a blank canvas and paint can be a challenge for some people, so imagine how difficult it is for a dog. But a paintbrush and teeth work well for Las Vegas’s painting canine, Arbor. Known as a doggie activist and artist, Arbor has risen to fame after a video of her painting appeared on Good Morning America in 2012. “Her success began with local stations around Las Vegas,” said Bryce Henderson, who owns Arbor with his wife Jennifer. “Her Facebook page really promoted her fame, too.” With more than half a million likes on her Go Vegas Dog Facebook page, Arbor has stayed active with her fan base, promoting her talents along with the mission to help rescue animals, since Arbor herself is a rescue dog.
Stay updated on Arbor’s active lifestyle and artwork by liking her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GoVegasDog.
“ The message we like to convey to people is that you can find great dogs in the shelter, You don’t need to go to a pet store."
But when it comes to her artistic talent, Arbor didn’t become Paw-casso overnight. “It was something we had to teach her,” Henderson said. “We knew she was very smart and we were impressed.” Once they saw she was doing well with basic tricks, they started more complicated tasks. “I came home one day, and there was a painting in the living room and my wife Jennifer said ‘Arbor did that.’”