Prevent the “Artistic” Death of Another Innocent Animal


In 2007, the ‘artist’ Guillermo Vargas Habacuc, took a dog from the street, tied him to a rope in an art gallery and began starving him to death.

For several days, the ‘artist’ and the visitors of the exhibition watched, emotionless, the shameful ‘masterpiece’ based on the dog’s agony, until eventually he died.

Does THIS sound like art to you?

But this is not all… the prestigious Visual Arts Biennial of Central America decided that the ‘installation’ WAS actually art, so Guillermo Vargas Habacuc has been invited to repeat his cruel action for the Biennial of 2008.

Let’s STOP HIM!!!!! Sign the petition:

Here is another petition that is 2 million signatures strong. Please feel free to sign it as well:

Please do it. It’s free of charge, there is no need to register, and it will only take 1 minute to save the life of an innocent creature.

AND, for those of you saying “This is all a hoax, etc,” here is a direct quote FROM THE ‘ARTIST’ himself!:
“I knew the dog died on the following day from lack of food. During the inauguration, I knew that the dog was persecuted in the evening between the houses of aluminum and cardboard in a district of Managua. 5 children who helped to capture the dog received 10 bonds of córdobas for their assistance. The name of the dog was Natividad, and I let him die of hunger in the sight of everyone, as if the death of a poor dog was a shameless media show in which nobody does anything but to applaud or to watch disturbed. In the place that the dog was exposed remain a metal cable and a cord. The dog was extremely ill and did not want to eat, so in natural surroundings it would have died anyway; thus they are all poor stray dogs: sooner or later they die or are killed.”


To be fair (with lots of comments from Costa Ricans):

In his defence, the artist has claimed that what he was attempting to prove was that those who saw the suffering of the dog just walked on by and that if it had been left on the street to die, no-one would have even known of its existence.

It has also been reported that the dog did not die but escaped, and that it had been fed by Vargas and was only tied up during the gallery opening times. It has not been possible to confirm this.

The Managua exhibition attracted worldwide attention and many people believe it to have been an act of cruelty rather than art. A petition has been started in an attempt to prevent Habacuc’s involvement in the 2008 Biennial and from repeating the spectacle.

If you would like to sign the petition, visit:

–from Artist Guillermo Vargas – Habacuc

Animals Petition Politics

AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. UPDATE:

    After pressure from WSPA, the Honduras AHPRA and the public, the
    Biennial organizers have agreed not only to make AHPRA official
    observers but also to include new competition rules that prohibit the
    abuse of animals.

    While we are satisfied that no-one will be able
    to abuse animals in the name of art during this forthcoming exhibition,
    stronger laws need to be in place that prohibit animal cruelty. WSPA
    and member society UCC are currently supporting a campaign, led by the
    Commission for Natural Resources and Environment of the Nicaraguan
    Assembly, calling for legislation to protect animals in Nicaragua.

    You too can support the protection of animals worldwide by signing the
    Animals Matter to Me petition. This calls for a Universal Declaration
    on Animal Welfare, an internationally accepted set of principles about
    the treatment of animals that would encourage countries to improve
    their legislation.

    Petition —

    –from World Society for Protection of Animals (

  2. Realize what this piece achieved… no one gives a damn about thousands of starving stray dogs in the streets, but everyone is appalled by one starving dog in a gallery. The general reaction has proven Guillermo’s point. He is not a horrible person. He brought worldwide attention to a big problem. It is OUR fault for focusing our attention on the artwork itself rather than the concept it was trying to get across. We should be taking a deeper look at ourselves. A lot of action going into one mistreated dog, not a whole lot going into the myriad of others…Condemning this piece and starting online petitions against this piece is no more proactive than the people who visited the exhibit and did nothing. Silly, silly world.

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