Meet Your Neighbours – Marion Evamy: The Art of Rescuing Dogs

by Jamila Douhaibi | photo by Emma Rossum – 

Marion Evamy, local artist and dog rescuer, says “If you’re a dog lover, you get it!”

She started being a “flight angel” in 2016, combining her two passions – art and dogs – into bringing rescue dogs back from Puerto Vallarta every year following an annual artist’s retreat. But her love of rescues started as a child, and Marion got her first rescue dog when she was 13 years old. “I’ve had a soft spot for dogs from the day I was born.”

In 1998, Marion started painting dog portraits, using most of the proceeds to help support dog rescues. In fact, a high percentage of the money she brings in from dog commissions, along with her other paintings, goes to charities for dogs and for people.

She says that being a “flight angel” only involves accompanying dogs from one location to another so they can be united with their waiting adoptive family. Though the rescue readies the paperwork and provides all of the support, Marion’s role is still a big one – acting as a guardian to a dog in need of a home, and making sure that they have a friend during the difficult transition. She says that “it’s a touching and emotional experience to witness the dog and its new family meeting for the first time.”

Bobb Hamilton, Marion’s husband, says that they are proud dog owners, but as Marion accompanies dogs to Canada, he says: “none for us, as three is plenty around here.” The couple have mainly had golden retriever rescues over the years, including one three-legged dog who had her rear leg taken off by a Mayan crocodile. They currently have two retrievers, Sadie and Jynx; as well as Pablo, a Terrier/Jack Russell/Westie mix. The trio is from Istanbul, Alberta and Puerto Vallarta, respectively.

Their dogs are ambassadors for their art, and Bobb and Marion often include pictures or notes from their dogs as a way to connect their collectors with the couple’s broader mission. Marion also encourages pet owners to take and post photos of their own dogs – she suggests the painted hydro “dog box” on Fourth Street (between Beacon and Bevan Avenues) in Sidney as a great backdrop for dogs to pose.

For those interested in adopting a rescue dog, Marion has a great deal of knowledge and experience with different rescue organizations. The main focus should be on working with a rescue group that makes sure the dogs have up-to-date vaccinations with veterinary check-ups, that they’ve been socialized and that they are properly matched to their new owners.

Marion recommends Dog for Life, which she recently volunteered with, and Mex-Can Pet Rescue, for dogs coming from Mexico. For local dog rescue organizations, she says that the Raincoast Dog Rescue in Greater Victoria is also a good option. Even in this area there are politics involved with what countries dogs can be rescued from. Marion notes that Türkiye is one of the countries on the banned list, which is difficult when so many people, and pets, are struggling after recent earthquakes.

Another issue that Marion mentions is the reason that dogs need to be rescued in the first place. Though she’s honoured to act as their guardians, she always feels frustrated that over-population and puppy mills are the leading causes of her position. Spay and neutering needs to occur around the world, and puppy mills and “backyard breeders” need to be shut down here at home. She says that these reckless actions lead to many discarded cats and dogs going into shelters. At the end of the day, she notes, it’s government intervention and common sense that need to prevail for this over-population issue to end.

Until some of these changes come about, Marion will continue to help transport furry friends to their new homes. She says that her “personal philosophy is that all dogs are deserving of a good home” and the way that she continues, since childhood, to look out for animals and make sure that they become well-loved pets, makes her a great role model and neighbour.
Check out Marion’s art gallery, and dog portrait site, at and

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