Today's Posts  
Pets and Wildlife Forum
Go Back   Pets and Wildlife Forum > News > Animal Cruelty, Take Action!

Animal Cruelty, Take Action! Discuss you experience with animal cruelty and sign and post Petitions.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-25-2008, 03:34 AM
RockyRaccoon RockyRaccoon is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 4
Default Sick "artist" in Costa Rica

Guillermo Habacuc Vargas of Costa Rica tied up a stray dog in an art exhibit, pasted dog food into words on a wall it could not reach, and kept it starving until it died. Nobody did anything to help it. he has been invited to an event were he was chosen to represent his country in the "Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008".

Sign the petition on this site to keep him from participating in this event and starving another dog.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2008, 07:44 PM
Kirial's Avatar
Kirial Kirial is offline
Regular Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Missouri
Posts: 52
Default Re: Sick "artist" in Costa Rica

I knew this one was going to end up here sooner or later.

While I do agree that his art exhibit was crude, and that he should have found another way to go about sending his message, I'm afraid it really isnt quite as bad as most of us have heard.

Having received this story in an e-mail I went digging to find the truth. Unfortunatly, the Costa Rican newspaper that ran the story cited only hearsay from those who went to the exhibit, and did not even bother to contact the artist or the gallery manager to demand an explanation. Of course no one can be sure exactly what happened as this has turned into a big battle of he-said vs. she-said.

Some of the known facts in the case which both sides agree on are:
  1. The "display" was open for only 3 hours at a time.
  2. The dog was admitted to be a stray found on the streets. He was very used to people and showed little interest in their activity. He was not agressive.
  3. During the public hours of the gallery the dog was tied on a zip-line in a corner of the gallery.
  4. During the public hours their were no other furnishings in the area. no bed, no food, no water. Only the dog and those watching him.
  5. During the public hours, visitors to the gallery were told not to feed or water the animal
  6. The dog has not been seen at the gallery since the end of the display. Though the reason for this (escape, release, death) is matter of debate.

Now, the artist put on this odd and shocking exhibit "You are what you read" under the idea of "helping animals" but had no announced backing or support from the people of his country, fellow artists, or any animal welfare groups. He says the purpose of the display was to show the hypocracy of human beings, in that we would raise a fuss over this one dog because it was in a gallery, and at the same time completely ignore the thousands of strays just outside that were starving to death. The display was held in Nicaragua, and not in his native costa rica, because there are no laws against animal cruely in Nicaragua. If he had preformed this "art" in Costa Rica, to the degree of cruelty that is alleged, he would have been heavily fined, incurred time in jail, and the dog would have been siezed. Costa Rica is actually very good at watching out for their animals, and should be applauded for their efforts at such.

Now the story splits up when we get to gallery closing hours. As there were no other witnesses after this point, little can be said outside of the testimony of the artist and the manager. According to them, once the doors were locked the dog was loosed and allowed to roam the gallery. Food and water for the dog were set out in another room of the gallery, out of public view, and the dog was able to eat after the setting. Then when it was time to open again, the dog would allow himself to be tied once more. After one day, the dog escaped from the gallery at night and so the display was closed. Of course, there was a public outcry that the dog was instead starved to death or killed and disposed of.

The humane society did go preform an investigation. They did not remove the dog, or arrest the artist. I think this should be step one of any conclusions you reach.

Also, this isnt the first or only piece of art by that indivual, (though good luck finding any others now) and while he has been chosen to represent his country in an art showing, I have yet to read any statement from the organization stating his "dog show" won him that spot.

Finally, while I dont agree that this was the right way to go about sending a message about animal welfare, I also cant find any conclusive proof that he hurt the dog in any way. Even in the pictures, the dog isnt even anxious at the random strangers coming in and out. From the pictures I say the dog was emaciated; but if you really think about it, the sign for the show was written with dog food. If that dog was really famished and starving he'd have been chewing at his line, scratching walls and floors, and throwing a fit trying to get to it. So my final call is that I am not going to sign the petition. Most of this attrocity cries out Hoax to me, and even if it isn't, he has already said his plans for the new display have nothing in common with this one. I see no reason he shouldnt participate in an art show. Now ask me if I'd adopt a dog to him... that's a bit different.
Do I just have a sticker on my forehead that says sucker? Wait, what do you mean "yes"...

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Ghandi.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2008, 09:54 PM
MissDolittle's Avatar
MissDolittle MissDolittle is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,813
Default Re: Sick "artist" in Costa Rica

Thank you for gathering the information!! I knew there was much more to it, but I didn't have the time to research it all. I appreciate that very much. Will pass it on!
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator (Texas)
Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened!
Rainbow Wildlife Rescue - Kittenbaby - Puppyeducation - Wildife Blog
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:31 AM.

Rainbow Wildlife Rescue - Kittenbaby - Squirrel Rescue - Puppy Education - Lost & Found Pets - St Augustine Florida pet friendly vacation rentals

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.