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Artwork by John Cannon in Tennessee

Olive by John Cannon

This portrait is of Olive.

If you are wondering why her eyes look unusual, it is because Olive was abused. Her eyes gouged out. She was also shot with pellets and was then left to die. Luckily, someone found her and brought her to a Veterinary hospital, another human at the hospital adopted Olive and got her treated back to life. Olive's new owner gave her a wonderful home and for four and a half years.

Mr. Cannon comments, "despite all she had been through, you can tell that Olive was happy with the humans who took her in and saved her. I am so proud that this was the first pet portrait I've painted through my partnership with Frankie's Friends. I am proud to have painted Olive and for the wonderful people who saved her."

Buddy by John Cannon

Buddy is John's companion, whom he lost three months ago.

Mr. Cannon explains, "I’ve got him filled in with the necessary lights and darks to get his shape. He had a lot of fur, so that is rather impressionistic, and does depict how he looked. He was a true canine angel, and I’ve tried my very best to capture a bit of his 'doganality.' I hope I’ve done him justice."

Bandit and Copper by John Cannon

This is Bandit and Copper by artist John Cannon.

This piece, along with several other pet portraits and artwork will be on display throughout summer at BluePearl Veterinary Partners pet hospital located in Brentwood, Tennessee. Thirty percent of the artwork proceeds will be donated to Frankie’s Friends. There will also be 8×10″ and full size prints available, with proceeds going to Frankie’s Friends.

Ella by John Cannon


This is Ella by John Cannon.

This piece, along with several other pet portraits and artwork will be on display throughout summer at BluePearl Veterinary Partners pet hospital located in Brentwood, Tennessee. Thirty percent of the artwork proceeds will be donated to Frankie’s Friends. There will also be 8×10″ and full size prints available, with proceeds going to Frankie’s Friends.

Buffy by John Cannon


This portrait is of Buffy.

John painted this pet portrait for a friend of Frankie's Friends.

Mr. Cannon explains, "This dog has been blessed with very nice owners. In fact, her owners have six dogs, she lives in a great home, she gets (and gives) a lot of love. This was a cute puppy pose of the little girl asleep, and I think I captured her sweetness. I love painting puppies (and cats, too)!"

Frankie's Friend by John Cannon

John was inspired by our organization to paint this specific portrait, he named it Frankie’s Friend.

This piece, along with several other pet portraits and artwork will be on display throughout summer at BluePearl Veterinary Partners animal hospital located in Brentwood, Tennesse.













Artist John Cannon's portraits help Frankie's Friends help pet owners

Combination of art, charity covers owners' bills FRANKLIN — Fine artist John Cannon, whose studio/gallery is located in The Factory at Franklin, is teaming up with Brentwood’s Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners and a nonprofit organization, Frankie’s Friends, to help save pets’ lives.

The purchase of commissioned pet portraits, as well as the artist’s current show at Blue Pearl, along with selected pieces at his Franklin gallery, will result in 30 percent of sales going to Frankie’s Friends, which offers assistance to people who are suddenly faced with unexpected pet crises and who are unable to afford life-saving treatment.

Matt Laing, hospital administrator for Blue Pearl’s four Middle Tennessee locations, said there’s no planning ahead for a pet that needs to be rushed to a pet emergency facility as a result of injury or in need of life saving treatment for a diagnosis of cancer.

“Some people have pet insurance, but many are caught facing significant veterinary bills just out of the blue,” he said. “Think of the dilemma someone can face in this difficult economy. Do you feed your family or save your pet? Frankie’s Friends can step in to help in such situations.”

Kristy Hemp, development director in Tennessee for the Florida-based charitable organization, says she well identifies with that kind of crisis.

“When our cat, Zorro, was only 1 year old, he suddenly had a significant medical crisis,” she said.

“We took him to an emergency clinic. At first they suspected cancer. As it turned out it was not, but saving his life cost us literally thousands of dollars. Fortunately, we had just received a tax refund and we used it all on his treatment; I don’t know what we would have done otherwise.”

Artist knows the joy and the pain of pets

Cannon, a lifelong pet lover, lost his beloved 13-year-old dog, Buddy, three months ago. Though he was not faced with a financial crisis, he says he well knows the joy pets bring and the pain of losing them. Already an artist who enjoys painting pet portraits, he says he was thrilled when Frankie’s Friends contacted him about helping the organization by donating a portion from the sale of his paintings.

“Over the years I have rescued so many pets and loved so many, to help in any way to save pets’ lives is so wonderful,” said the artist. “The work this organization is doing is just fabulous. I’m as excited as I can be to take part.”

He is often commissioned to do pet portraits; now a portion of those commissions goes to Frankie’s Friends.

“If a pet is deceased, I of course do the portraits from the family’s pictures. Otherwise, I like to meet the pets and get a sense of their personalities. I also shoot photos of them during that meeting, and I work from those as well as pictures provided by the family. It’s a real joy to create the portraits,” says the artist, who taught English and then practiced law for 25 years.

“I studied art as an undergrad, then obtained a master’s in English, taught school and didn’t enjoy it. So I became an attorney and spent my career there. All those years, I kept drawing — and remained drawn to art,” he said.

A decade ago he began studying art again and started painting. Six years ago, he opened John Cannon Fine Arts in The Factory. Two years ago he stopped practicing law and fulfilled his lifelong dream — he became a full-time artist.

Emergency vet practice expands

While Cannon was finding his dream, veterinarians in Brentwood were finding their own.

Three years ago, Pet Emergency Treatment Services had three doctors seeking to expand emergency and critical care.

“We found the Blue Pearl system, based in Florida. It was a good fit for what we wanted to do here. We joined what was then an organization of three hospitals. Now there are 27 across the country,” said Laing.

Now the Brentwood practice has 15 physicians offering 24-hour emergency services and maintains satellite facilities in Goodlettsville and 12th Avenue South in Nashville. A fourth opens next month in Murfreesboro.

“Our specialists go to those other clinics by appointment; we look forward to growing all of them to be 24-hour emergency centers,” Laing said.

Blue Pearl’s vets also specialize in cancer, cardiology, internal medicine, radiology, surgery and rehabilitation. They frequently work by referral from area veterinarians.

The area Blue Pearl facilities join the founding Florida hospital in working with Freddie’s Friends to find funding for families in need of financial assistance to provide life-saving care for their pets.

Charity program dates to 1996

In 1996, the founding physician of the forerunner of Blue Pearl started Veterinary Cancer Foundation to help clients facing huge medical bills in the treatment for their pets with cancer.

In 2008, the foundation’s name was changed to Frankie’s Friends to honor Frankie, a greyhound who died in 2007 after battling heart disease and cancer since 2000. Frankie’s family made a significant donation to the foundation and continues to be generous supporters.

The local Blue Pearl facilities began working with Frankie’s’ Friends to benefit their patients, and this past April, the organization hired Hemp to establish a full-time presence here.

“Frankie’s Friends recognized right away the dedication in this area by people to their pets,” Hemp said. “Blue Pearl only had some printed materials in their offices; the level of interest and support they garnered prompted them to establish here. All monies raised for Frankie’s Friends here stays here to help area families and their pets.”

Requests can be evaluated quickly

Laing says while Blue Pearl also works with a number of other pet charities in the area to assist their clients, that work can often take precious days to get financial decisions on assistance.

“Sometimes days — even hours — are critical in saving a pet’s life. Frankie’s Friends can evaluate requests immediately and offer help within the same day,” he said.

As Frankie’s Friends steps in, Blue Pearl also discounts fees by at least 25 percent.

“We ask that the families participate at some level financially, but certainly it is our goal to save those pets’ lives. Often people who are in temporary tough financial times come back when their situation improves and give back so other animals can be saved,” he said.

Mural in Brentwood depicts 'Tree of Life'

Frankie’s Friends’ local initiative is painting a huge mural in the Brentwood’s hospital of “The Tree of Life,” with leaves that bear pets’ names and messages.

Smaller leaves are $100 each and larger are $150 each. All donations are tax deductible.

“The leaves can be in memory of a beloved lost pet or in celebration of a healthy vibrant pet. You need not be a Blue Pearl client to buy a leaf nor to come enjoy and/or purchase a piece of John Cannon’s art from his collection hanging in the lobby. His pieces range from $100 to $1,000 and encompass broad subject matter — from pets to landscapes,” Hemp said.

Frankie's Friends And Artist Team Up For Pets

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – June 4, 2012 – Local artist John Cannon and Frankie’s Friends, a nonprofit that provides emergency and specialty care for pets with cancers and other diseases, are working together to raise awareness of the devastating impact that these diseases have on pets and their families. Cannon’s paintings of pet portraits and other artwork will be on display throughout the summer at BluePearl Veterinary Partners pet hospital located at 1668 Mallory Lane in Brentwood. Thirty percent of the artwork sale proceeds will be donated to Frankie’s Friends. Cannon will also donate 30 percent of the proceeds of commissioned pet portrait and select artwork from his studio in The Factory.

Having a pet with cancer or another devastating disease can leave pet owners at a loss  of what to do. Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine over the past several years, the quality of care has improved remarkably and more treatment options are available. Unfortunately, many of these options are costly and most pet families do not carry health insurance for veterinary care.

The challenge to provide financial assistance for pets from families without resources can be overwhelming. That’s where Frankie’s Friends comes in.

“We’re thrilled to have John on board with Frankie’s Friends to help give hope to Tennessee families and save the lives of their pets,” said Kristy Hemp, development director for Frankie’s Friends of Tennessee. “His pet paintings capture those loveable personalities that we just can’t live without.”

For his part, Cannon is very excited to be able to help this wonderful organization. He currently has three cats and a dog, though he recently lost one of his long time canine companions. “The bond between a person and a pet is something special and unique in this world,” said Cannon. “I love being able to make paintings that capture the spirit and character of a pet for that pet’s family. Being able to create that art and financially support an organization such as Frankie’s Friends is a fantastic blessing.”

About Frankie’s Friends and BluePearl Veterinary Partners: Frankie’s Friends is a non-profit foundation dedicated to finding cures and saving pets with cancer and other serious pet diseases. Frankie’s Friends of Tennessee provides hope for families who are simply unable to provide critical medical care for their pets due to financial constraints. The charity is supported by BluePearl Veterinary Partners who also contribute funding and match Frankie’s Friends funds with at least a 25 percent discount on care. BluePearl hospitals are among the nation’s leading providers of emergency and specialty veterinary medicine. Middle Tennessee is home to four BluePearl hospitals: Brentwood, Goodlettsville, Nashville, and Murfreesboro. Learn more at or contact Kristy Hemp at 888.600.5254 or

Kristy Hemp
Frankie's Friends
Development Director, Tennessee Region
frankiesfriends.comAmy Gray Kovar, APR Gray Public Relations 616 Overview Ln. Franklin TN 37064 615.497.1799