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Exhibition - Caged: The Illegal Pet Trade

Caged:  The Illegal Pet Trade
Artist, Justin LaDoux

Artist Justin LaDoux creates wonderfully clever animal forms from found objects.  A member of the art faculty at Kirtland Community College, he received his BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design and lives in Alma, Michigan.  Justin has created uniquely-themed installations for every Grand Rapids Art Prize competition.  In 2016, he created the “Caged” exhibit and agreed to expand it and bring it to the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

The illegal pet trade is extremely cruel.  Wild animals get removed from their habitat and experience serve shock.  Most animals get drugged, man-handled, and caged in cramped conditions most times without food or water sometimes for days.  Millions of animals each year get put into the illegal pet trade just to end up dead.  Four out of five animals will die in transit or within a year.  To get the animals across customs most are drugged and crammed into suitcases, plastic bottles, and socks.  Most people don't fully understand the real commitment it takes to care for a wild animal and many get neglected and become malnourished or die.  Many animals eventually are abandoned when they become ill or grow too large for their owner to care for.  Wild animals should be enjoyed in the wild as nature intended. My exhibit is intended to shed light on this important, but often neglected subject.

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