845-887-3156 debra@debracortese.com

Adopt A Shelter Dog – 2009 Calendars Now Available!

click image to see all 12 months

There are literally thousands of animals lost or abandoned in Miami-Dade every year. Many of them are injured and need critical medical care. All of them need caring, loving families. Animal Services, the dozens of animal rescue organizations, veterinarians and individuals all over South Florida (and the world) are working to educate people and help as many of our furry, feathered, scaled friends (little angels in my opinion) as possible. This all takes time, money and mountains of compassion, patience and education.

At some point (actually around the 9th stray cat in this decade, and several abandoned dogs) I realized I could not rescue, doctor, feed and save every animal alone. What I can do, is help to create products like this calendar which will raise money for care and education programs for the animals. Many of the photos were taken by Miami-Dade Animal Services personnel and volunteers, many are of pets and rescued animals I had the pleasure to photograph.

When you purchase any of the ‘Art For The Animals’ products, 50% of the profits are donated to helping animals (and the other 50% helps the artist pay her bills and keep creating new works to help even more animals!)

See all Art For The Animals products here and 

Order your large format, 17 inch wide
2009 ‘Adopt A Shelter Dog’ Wall Calendar HERE


Barney, another Miami-Dade Animal Services adoptee!
Barney, another Miami-Dade Animal Services adoptee!

Love your pets – the rewards are priceless!

Debra Cortese

PS:  2009 CAT CALENDAR coming soon… AND of course, an all new, 2009 Nature’s Energy Calendar.


‘ART FOR THE ANIMALS’  (founded in 2005) is dedicated to increasing awareness of the treatment of animals through artistic expression and education. Click this link ‘ART FOR THE ANIMALS’ to see the Children’s Art from 2005 Summer School workshops throughout Miami-Dade County Public Schools


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Foster Puppy and Honey Bee Invasion

Rescue puppyNature’s Energy is definitely speaking loudly to me in the past couple of weeks. First, I’m in the right place at the right time to help rescue an adorable little puppy. I’d been helping a friend reestablish his community newspaper (I’m the production department) when he found the little guy crossing a very busy 4 way intersection in North Miami. Pup was covered with very large fleas, filthy dirty, and his ribs were clearly defined so we knew he had not been getting any tlc. He spent the first night at the office and then I brought him home, got him cleaned up, de-flead and well-fed for a few days. A friend of the friend said he’d take him for a pet, but never showed up. So, he’s back here, living the life of a pampered prince among the 7 stray cats that have now designated us as their servants. Good news though, I posted his picture and info to the Rescue communities and instantly got a response from Robbie at www.sabbathrescue.org  Robbie sent the info around and withing the next 24 hours I heard from several people in the chain that Melody of Ethical Bull Breed Rescue and Referral of Florida  had a place for him already. Problem is, he’s a pit bull puppy and it’s illegal to own him in Miami-Dade County. So, the little outcast must move north to Broward or Palm Beach and that’s right where Melody is located. So, sometime next week, we’ll arrange the trip and little Jeffrey (couldn’t hold my daughter back from naming him) will find a new home with a woman who already has a pit bull and she works at a doggy day care. I love when this works out for the best! …He's happy now!Last year's bee invasion on SE wallNow, about those HONEYBEES…I pulled in the driveway on Wed and there was this cloud of buzzing, swarming bees just making their way to the southwest corner of my bedroom. I live in a old wooden house and it has more than a few places that need some work. Needless to say, the bees knew this was an ideal place to relocate for 3 reasons: first, access was easy; second, they already knew (through the cosmic bee grapevine) that I wouldn’t exterminate them but instead would call Beeman  http://www.bees-n-the-keys.com/  to come to their rescue. Third reason is because they had done this before only last year and on the opposite wall of the same bedroom! (different swarm, but probably same ancestor bees).Capture the QueenHoney bees are a vital part of our food chain. They are the only natural pollinators of our fruits and vegetables and since so many natural habitats are being developed for human use, and people seem to think they should kill all creatures whose homes they have usurped, extermination is unfortunately, the most common method of bee removal.Bee SmokerI’ve checked with the Florida extension service, and Bud Grant is the state bee inspector that I’ve talked with about this. Haven’t met him in person yet, but I’m happy to say that he agrees it is in everyone’s best interest to relocate and save the honeybees. Bees-N-The-Keys
Now, this little operation takes Beeman a few hours or so depending on the size and location of the hive and how long it takes to capture the Queen. Plus he drives up from Key Largo.  Got here before 8 am and I think he was finished around noon. Even though the bee invasion is a nuisance and it does cost  to have them removed and relocated, I have to say that Mike is the most knowledgable and interesting character to watch and learn from. He coaxes the bees out of the hive as if he were soothing a little baby. Calls the Queen by the name of Momma, the workers are ‘girls’ and even the drones are treated with gentle vacuuming and handling. Last year, Mike used his bee smoker to relax the girls before vacuuming them into the bee box. I have a lot of pictures of the process and notes too. This man truly enjoys his work, (or ‘dance with life’ as Mike Dooley called it in a recent “Thought from the Universe”.) It had been a stressful week, but by tonight, I’m seeing the light again and it is not a train ;-)Here are a couple of pics of the puppy and the bees. No honey this time, but last year they’d been in the wall for long enough to have some great tasting honey. Comb and all. You can visit Bees-in-the-keys online and order honey from Mike (maybe produced from my bees of last years relocation). Tell him I sent you. He has a unique, Forest Gump way about him. Very refreshing, especially for Miami! Beeman and Puppy playing 

Notice: All artworks are copyrighted by Debra Cortese.
No reproduction without written permission. All rights reserved by the artist.