WE DID IT!!! Okey’s Promise has passed the fund raising goal!!!

Dear Okey’s Promise Keepers:

Thanks to you, the first Okey’s Promise mural in Canton, OH will become a reality! We passed the goal this morning with 3 days to spare!

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to each and every person who pledged to the cause. Whatever the size of your pledge, you are each very special to me, as you have helped to make this crazy dream of mine come to fruition.

I started this project with the idea that I, artist BZTAT, wanted to paint a meaningful mural that somehow made a difference about a serious issue. Somewhere along the line, though, it became something different than that. As the number of backers grew, I began to realize that this is not just an artwork, it is a movement and a cause. I am just the artist. YOU are the passion and life of the project.

I will make a promise to you, and to my little Okey, to meet your passion and enthusiasm with as much creative fervor as I can. I promise to make this project worthy of your investment. I also promise to do everything I can to use the artwork as a catalyst for dialog and change in addressing pet abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. My hope is that you will share that dialog and work towards change in your communities as well.

Although we have met the goal, we can still use more funding for the project. The goal was intentionally set low to ensure that we made at least the minimal benchmark to proceed. Please continue to spread the word for both the awareness of the issues and for continued fund raising purposes.

As I do with all of my artwork, I invite you to join me “in the studio” as I proceed with the project. Please follow me on Twitter (@BZTAT), on Facebook and here at www.okeyspromise.com for my latest creative activity.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. You have all touched me very deeply with your support and compassion.


Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!

Join in the #NipClub tonight and win fabulous prizes!

Proposed mural image for Okey's Promise
Artwork by BZTAT

As I shared the other day, we are having a Twitter “pawty”tonight as a part of the Nip Club, a weekly party to help animal causes. One of the great things about the Nip Club are the contests and prizes shared. Take a look at the prizes donated for tonight!

  • 2 “Rescue Mom” car magnets courtesy of the fabulous @RometheCat.
  • 3 Art prints of the artwork above that is the proposed image for the first Okey’s Promise mural.
  • 1 free pass to the BlogPaws 2011 conference August 25-27, 2011 near Washington D.C., courtesy of @BlogPaws.

Thanks to Romeo and BlogPaws for their kind donations! Special thanks also to @MaggieTKat who will be the quizmaster, and @TheNascarKitty, who coordinates the Nip Club. make sure you follow them on Twitter.

Hope to see you tonight! The fun runs from 4pm to 12pm EST!


Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!

Interesting facts about pet abuse and domestic violence connections

I am not a researcher or statistician. I am an artist and a trauma counselor with some real life experience. And I am a decent web surfer. I have seen enough evidence to convince me how important it is to address animal abuse and domestic violence simultaneously. But to gather information to convince others is a bigger challenge.

Luckily, a number of groups have been working on the issue for quite awhile, and they have amassed an impressive cache of information.

The American Humane Association is one group that has been working on this for many years. I found a treasure trove of information on their site. I hope you will go there and learn more. Here is a sample of information I found on one of their fact sheets:

Did You Know?

  • More American households have pets than have children. We spend more money on pet food than on baby food. There are more dogs in the U.S. than people in most countries in Europe – and more cats than dogs. [13]
  • A child growing up in the U.S. is more likely to have a pet than a live-at-home father. [14]
  • Pets live most frequently in homes with children: 64.1% of homes with children under age 6, and 74.8% of homes with children over age 6, have pets. The woman is the primary caregiver in 72.8% of pet-owning households. [11
  • Battered women have been known to live in their cars with their pets for as long as four months until an opening was available at a pet-friendly safe house. [15]

I didn’t know some of that myself. It is somewhat sad and surprising to me that more children have pets than live-at-home fathers. I am glad to know that pets are available to fill emotional needs, but it is also unfortunate that society tends to disregard the importance of the role the pets play when we intervene with those in dangerous situations.

My hope is that Okey’s Promise can help shine more light on the great work that has been going on for some time to reveal this important issue.

As an artist and a counselor, I feel that I have some unique insights and talents that can bring some new attention to the concerns. But I am truly just a small part of Okey’s Promise. Okey’s Promise is a movement and a cause, and it’s biggest asset will be the people who join in and spread the word. YOU are the most important part of Okey’s Promise.

Please share the video, share the message, support with a pledge, or share the message any way that you can. Be one of Okey’s Promise Keepers. Let’s keep Okey’s Promise alive by doing better for society’s children, domestic violence victims, AND creatures.


Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!

#NipClub and other fun for Okey’s Promise!

"Niptini" painting by BZTAT

Thanks to everyone who has pledged their support to the Okey’s Promise: Art for a Cause project! You are all very special, and you are helping Okey and I keep our promise to do better for children and creatures. You are Okey’s Promise Keepers!

We have over 60% of our goal, now, and 8 days to get the remaining 40%. Please share your enthusiasm for the cause with others who you think may wish to become an Okey’s Promise Keeper themselves. And if you haven’t pledged yet but want to, now is the time! Here is the link.

Just to have fun, and to raise some pledges and awareness, we are having two parties for Okey this week.

On this Thursday, January 20, we will have a virtual party on Twitter. The Nip Club, a rowdy crowd of animal tweeters, has invited us to join their weekly “pawty” to raise funds for different animal causes. The theme of the pawty is 80’s Rock Pawty so pull out your best 80’s style gear! We will have quizzes with BZTAT artwork and Romeo the Cat “Rescue Mom” magnets and and other surprises. Follow the hashtags #NipClub and #OkeysPromise to join in.

Also, for folks close to Canton, OH, we will have a real live event on Sunday, January 23. We will have a spaghetti dinner at Arcadia Grille at 321 Court Ave. N.W. in downtown Canton from 1pm to 3pm. Cost: whatever you would like to donate to the cause. There will be a 50/50 and other raffles, again with BZTAT artwork as prizes. Be sure to come and join us for lotsa fun! Learn more and sign up to come here on the Facebook event page.

I look forward to seeing you at these events and to enjoying some fun times while we raise support for Okey’s Promise!

A project like this can’t happen without the great support of others. You as Okey’s Promise Keepers are the passion to make it happen. We will get there!

Above is a little drawing that I recently made of Okey. I can’t wait to paint the BIG picture!


Wanna pledge your support to Okey’s Promise? Every little bit helps! Make your pledge here, and/or grab the widget to put on your website. Thanks for your support!