Date of Graduation

Winter 12-14-2018

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Museum Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Museum Studies

First Advisor

Stephanie Brown


For this capstone project, I created a proposal for an exhibition centering around animal rights that focuses on the rights of senior dogs in United States animal shelters. Homeward Bound: The Struggle Senior Dogs Face to Find Their Fur-Ever Homes intends to raise awareness of the difficulties senior dogs face in being adopted from animal shelters, while promoting individuals to be active and engaged participants in actions to support the needs of senior shelter dogs.

Senior dogs have the highest probability of euthanasia in shelters.[1] Shelters and rescue organizations provide much needed assistance to senior dogs, supporting their physical and mental needs while advocating for their adoptions. This capstone promotes the idea that expanding the types of venues and events typically connected to shelter dog awareness and support will increase the opportunity for support and expand audience reach. Supported by research depicting the high euthanasia rates in United States animal shelters and findings supporting the increased frequency at which dogs are considered to be family members, this exhibition proposal provides new insight to how museums can take an active role and support animal rights in the museum field in spaces such as art museums, children’s museums, natural history museums, and science museums.

[1] Hawes, Sloane, Josephine Kerrigan, and Kevin Morris. "Factors Informing Outcomes for Older Cats and Dogs in Animal Shelters." Animals 8, no. 3 (March 07, 2018): 36. doi:10.3390/ani8030036. p. 2.