Archive for November, 2014

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Dear Friends,

I am writing because I need your help in supporting a cause that is close to my heart! On January 8, 2015, I will be launching my new endeavor, Painted Dog Research Trust USA with a fundraiser to support Painted Dog Research Trust, and I am relying on friends to be there to support me. As with any new endeavor, this is an exciting and at times scary process. Your support in the room on January 8th would mean everything to me.

Most of you know of my love of the continent of Africa, its wildlife and its people. Many of you also know of my fondness for Painted Dogs (African Wild Dogs). I learned about them when I was five or six years old from a book I found in my elementary school library, and I have been fascinated ever since. Thus began my belief in the power of environmental education.

Painted Dogs (also known as African Wild Dogs) were once common in Africa with estimates of over half a million animals across thirty-nine countries. About 40 years ago, when I was 5, they were listed as a “vulnerable” species with the IUCN. Today, they are classified as highly Endangered with estimates of about 5,000 animals found only in only fourteen countries. The dog population in Zimbabwe links to all five neighboring countries (Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique, thus making Zimbabwe an important keystone population for this species.

Painted Dogs are one of the few examples of an animal that cares for their sick and elderly.  For example, if a Painted Dog breaks a leg (this is a fairly common occurrence), they will cache that individual somewhere and regurgitate food for him/her until such time as he/she is well enough to travel again.  Elderly animals stay with the pack and are cared for throughout their entire lives, even if they cannot participate in hunting.  Often, a “doctor” dog is assigned as a caretaker, regurgitating food, cleaning wounds, and generally caring for members until they are strong enough to keep up with the pack.

Observing Painted Dogs in the wild has a special effect on me – it gives me hope for our planet. They are so completely in sync with each other and in balance with their environment. Their community is one that humans should strive to emulate. Under natural circumstances, they have everything they need to survive within their pack. But in today’s world, they very much need some help. Humans are their only real predator and they cannot defend themselves against habitat loss, outright killing, exposure to domestic dog diseases or snares set by poachers to catch bush meat.

In June, I had the good fortune to travel with Dr. Gregory Rasmussen (Painted Dog Research Trust or PDRT) and see his work firsthand.  When I met Greg, I immediately knew that I wanted to help support his organization because they do the work that is necessary to conserve this species in a way that simultaneously focuses on the local communities’ needs. I have spent too many years hoping that the future of painted dogs other African wildlife can change for the better and now I have decided to act. This event is the kick-off for Painted Dog Research Trust USA, and the funds raised will begin the long term funding of Dr. Rasmussen’s work.

PLEASE COME JOIN OUR PACK for a fun night of learning and giving!

I would like to invite you to join me and Dr. Gregory Rasmussen for a Lecture and Auction to benefit Painted Dog Research Trust at 7pm on January 8th at the Ballard Elks Club. Tickets must be purchased in advance before December 21st and are available at: https://wildnet.secure.force.com/events/CnP_PaaS_EVT__ExternalRegistrationPage?event_id=a19i0000001vQ2FAAU

Or via links on https://www.facebook.com/PDRTUSA and www.painteddogresearchtrust-usa.org/donate.html

Each ticket sold earns its bearer a raffle ticket to win a door prize of two FIRST CLASS tickets anywhere in the USA that Alaska Airlines flies. You must be present to win.

Your presence and support at this kick-off event will set the stage for its future. Please purchase a ticket to the event today and spread the word to your friends so we can pack the house!


Carrie Culp

Executive Director, Painted Dog Research Trust USA



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Ronny Vardy is a painter, illustrator, and educator. She was born and spent her early life in Tel Aviv, moving to The United States at fourteen where she began her education in Los Angeles, studying in a classical method focused on traditional renaissance painting techniques in oils and watercolors. She has also trained in early childhood education and has taught art to students (both child and adult) in Los Angeles and Seattle. Her belief that skillful training plus imagination equals good art has led her down a journey filled with art shows, comic conventions, printed publications, and exhibitions in the U.S. and around the world.

Ronny lives with her husband and son in Puyallup, WA where, when she isn’t painting, she finds inspiration in her veggie garden, her chickens, and the daily, delightful shenanigans of being someone’s Mom.

Ronny’s artwork can be viewed online at Ronnyvardy.com or she can be reached at fooshka@gmail.com.

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