Rational Animal NEWS

Explore recent articles on what we’ve been up to regarding events and awareness campaigns promoting support for animals in need.

Speaking out for the animal kingdom: Critter Chat makes its way to KVMR's airwaves

Jennifer Nobles Staff Writer Apr 3, 2024 , The Union
Photo: Elias Funez

Susan Brandt and Marney Blair are in the business of animals. To clarify, they are passionate animal advocates who want the human species to be more aware of the vast animal kingdom that surrounds them...link to The Union article  

Joni Mitchell, Debbie Harry, Audrey Hepburn Prints Help Animals in Grass Valley & Nevada City

Iconic Music Photography Exhibits Help the Local Animal Shelter

April 2023 - Grass Valley, CA -- Cats have reached a new high as Joni Mitchell snuggles her cat at home in a photograph by world-renowned photographer Norman Seeff; on the same wall, Debbie Harry might as well be meowing in this photograph by her bandmate Chris Stein, seen reflected in her sunglasses. Meanwhile nearby stands Audrey Hepburn in Hollywood, Yorkie in her bicycle basket. These are just three of the stunning fine art music photography pieces now viewable and for sale as a fundraiser for the local animal shelter at Nevada City Picture Framing & Gallery in the newly hip 7 Hills District.

What started as the first exhibit ever of the co-founder of the Morrison Hotel Gallery, Peter Blachley, paired with his wife's passion for helping at-risk animals, Rational Animal, this exhibit is a passion and a cause.

While Peter Blachley's collection is second to none with rare showpieces including The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet photograph by Michael Joseph; Bob Dylan rolling a tire in Greenwich Village by the infamous photographer Jim Marshall, classic iconic photos of Jim Morrison, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell and more taken by Blachley's business partner and Grammy-winning photographer Henry Diltz; his wife, Susan Brandt's collection of photographs to raise funds for the non-profit she founded, Rational Animal, is pretty astounding as well. Add a raffle to win a Jimi Hendrix Triptych and now, due to popular demand this show is being extended through the month of May 2023.

This fundraiser is one of a suite of "April is for Animals" fundraisers aimed to help the cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City imagine a new animal shelter. With the City of Grass Valley recently voting to prioritize a new animal shelter for Grass Valley and Nevada City, a new movement has begun with the vision of an animal rescue campus, a place that can intake and rehabilitate both companion animals and wildlife. With the right location and acreage, one could imagine an ideal situation where cats can have a shelter, separate and more quiet from dogs; and wildlife could also be received, acres away from too much noise. A place where people can volunteer and learn about animal care from experts with a classroom and dog park. The Goldilocks sized shelter, not too big, not too small, the one that's just right for the cities' animals. A model that's not uncommon and could serve the cities well.

BriarPatch Food Coop is a part of "April is for Animals" as the host of another music photography exhibit "Pet Rocks" co-curated by Rational Animal as an exhibit and fundraiser up til April 30, 2023. Donors can join the raffle to win the entire exhibit hand-signed by Neal Preston, considered one of the best live music photographers allowed behind the velvet rope with Led Zeppelin, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac. See BriarPatch display between Aisle 5 and 6 to buy the show's matching animal notecards - all funds raised to help the Grass Valley / Nevada City Animal Shelter improve and relocate.

Want to help? Please donate or volunteer. Also seeking land donors (20 acres or more) within the city limits for this animal rescue campus. Are you a cabinetmaker? Current project to remodel shelter lobby needs one. More skilled volunteers needed to launch this exciting and worthy project.

Contact Rational Animal at [email protected] Rational Animal's mission is to organize people and projects to help at-risk animals and is a non-profit organization headquartered in Grass Valley since 2016. www.rational-animal.org

"April is for Animals" Exhibits and Fundraisers for Rational Animal:

The Proprietor's Collection from the Morrison Hotel Gallery
Nevada City Picture Framing & Gallery Exhibit Hours: 12-4pm
Tuesday - Saturday, through May 2023
571 Searls Avenue, #B, Nevada City, California

BriarPatch Food Coop Cafe - "Pet Rocks" The Photography of Neal Preston
290 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley, California
On display during regular store hours - til April 30, 2023. 

Rational Animal Unveils Catio and Renovation at Grass Valley / Nevada City Animal Shelter


February 23, 2022 - GRASS VALLEY, CA - Rational Animal, a media for at-risk animals charity, got a boost for its work at the Grass Valley / Nevada City Animal Shelter with a fundraiser that included the participation of music icons STEVIE NICKS, BLONDIE, ROLLING STONE KEITH RICHARDS and THE WHO'S PETE TOWNSEND who hand-signed fine art prints featuring their images that sold through Rational Animal's sponsor Morrison Hotel Gallery.

Rational Animal's latest project is an animal shelter renovation in the Sierra Foothills, a California community that's survived recent wildfire and snowstorm emergencies. The Grass Valley / Nevada City Animal Shelter has been a constant over the years, and with a small staff focused on helping local homeless animals and injured wildlife, it's been hard to take on additional work to make improvements to the shelter.

Rational Animal pitched ideas to the shelter leadership with the goal of increasing animal adoptions. The plan, that included a new outdoor sign, paint, landscaping and a "catio" - a secured, outdoor space for homeless cats, was given the green light. In fall of 2021, Rational Animal volunteers got to work and now the project is ready for a proper unveiling. The "cherry on top" is a mural featuring donors beloved pets painted by world-renowned Swazzle Puppet Studio.

"We are delighted about the renovations, especially the new catio as we can give homeless cats a chance to get accustomed to safely enjoying the outdoors," says Susan Brandt, Founder, Rational Animal. "Catios allow cats to be cats while preventing cats from being a meal for coyote, mountain lions or other hungry creatures that live in this area - and also protecting wildbirds - its a win-win for domestic and wild animals."


Rational Animal Creates, Donates Sign to Grass Valley / Nevada City Animal Shelter

by Susan Brandt

As part of their efforts to help promote the Grass Valley Animal Shelter and animal adoptions at the city shelter, Rational Animal produced and gifted a beautiful, locally-made sign now installed on Freeman Lane. 

Rational Animal Brings World Animal Day to Nevada County, California

by Susan Brandt

Laurel Vieaux and her precious pup, Myrtle, stopped by the "Rational Animal" fundraiser set up on Mill Street in Grass Valley recognizing World Animal Day, October 3.


Songbird Rehabilitators of Nevada County Recognized for Saving Hundreds of Birds

by Susan Brandt

World Animal Day is October 4 and to celebrate six veteran songbird home-care rehabilitators, all who volunteer for Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release (WR&R) of Nevada County, will be recognized for their tremendous work in saving the lives of hundreds of songbirds with the Animal Guardian Award. WR&R wrapped up the 2020 season with well over 400 intakes and over half released back to the wild. Since WR&R’s founding in 1985, the nonprofit organization has taken in and released thousands of local and migrating birds in Nevada County, nurturing their success and thus the success of their offspring that we enjoy in our forests and towns. Despite an unprecedented challenging season, the Songbird Team volunteers of WR&R received hundreds of injured or orphaned birds beginning in April. Top reasons for intakes were cats and window and car strikes. Six veteran songbird home-care rehabilitators at Wildlife Rehabilitation & Release are being recognized for taking in more than 400 injured birds, with more than half being released back into the wild.


Mother’s Comfort Project Sew-a-thon

We Sewed 138 Beds and Tons of Toys for Brooklyn Animal Care Center Homeless Animals.
See more photos and videos on our Facebook page by clicking below.


Our Artists with Animals Fundraiser was a great success at Ron Robinson, Santa Monica!!!

The Kills and Chris Isaak with Rodney Cheered Us On at the Opening this November.

A Big Thanks to the many people who helped with this event, pictured L-R Karen Meena, Peter Blachley, Neal Preston, Ron Robinson, Susan Brandt, Jamie Hince, Alison Mosshart, Timothy White, and Jamie Bucherer

Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart

Chris Isaak and Rodney


Yes!! Pete Townshend Signed A Print For This Fundraiser! If you missed it and are interested in this print please contact us. As a part of this amazing Artists with Animals photography fundraiser, The Who's Pete Townshend stopped by Morrison Hotel Gallery to sign this print of him with his dog Towser and his daughter's toys, a photo generously donated by Barrie Wentzell for inclusion in our fundraiser!

Buy this rare print and help the animals!

In Print at Four and Sons

Rational Animal and Morrison Hotel Gallery Featured in Four & Sons Magazine Where Dogs and Culture Collide Rational Animal has long had the support of the Morrison Hotel Gallery, famous for bringing music photography to fans through its Soho and LA galleries. In this interview, Four&Sons talks to Susan Brandt, founder of Rational Animal and Peter Blachley, co-owner of the Morrison Hotel Gallery, about how these two entities are birds of a feather. Order a copy of Four & Sons at fourandsons.com

Morrison Hotel Gallery & Bookmarc Present Echo Home The Photography of Jamie Hince to benefit Rational Animal

Jamie Hince Show

On Saturday, November 1st, Morrison Hotel Gallery and Bookmarc present ECHO HOME, bringing the photography of indie icon JAMIE HINCE of THE KILLS to their galleries in Los Angeles. Opening events will be held on November 1 at Bookmarc, 8407 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, from 4–6pm. Proceeds from this event benefit Rational Animal—a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness to help at-risk animals. One of their signature community service projects, Mother’s Comfort Project, sews and delivers thousands of beds to animals in shelters. Morrison Hotel Gallery and Bookmarc share a spirit of sophistication, swagger, and authenticity. Both brands have a flair for making trendsetting decisions. Jamie Hince is a like-minded soul with his distinct mix of iconography and intellect. The English guitarist, singer, and songwriter is a genre-defining musician with a signature sensibility that encompasses grit, humor, and sultry expressiveness. As a musician, he’s worked with cult acts such as Fiji, Scarfo, and Blyth Power, but he’s best known for his mesmerizing and sensual indie rock with The Kills, which he co-founded with singer, songwriter, guitarist, vocalist and fashion icon Alison Mosshart in 2000. To date, The Kills have released three critically acclaimed albums. Hince is one of the rare breeds of artistically fluid musicians that can authoritatively work in other mediums. Prior to the ECHO HOME exhibit, Jamie Hince will be in Los Angeles to play with The Kills Halloween night at the Forum with tour-mates Queens Of The Stone Age. The idea of making this a charity focused exhibition began when Rational Animal charity reached out to The Kills with an opportunity to embrace their inner animal by creating a photo for their latest campaign in support of their signature Mother’s Comfort Project, which sews and delivers beds to homeless animals in shelters in the greater New York City area. Alison and Jamie jumped on board without hesitation creating a beautiful black and white portrait of Alison with his dog Archie curling up in bed, with an homage to Terry O’Neill’s photograph of Bridget Bardot sharing her bed with her dog. This image was used this year to promote fundraising for Mother’s Comfort Project. With the ECHO HOME event, Rational Animal will also debut its original series of notecards Artists with Animals at Bookmarc. This set of 10 cards includes the O’Neill’s Bridget Bardot photo and features legendary artists with animals taken by the A-list of music photographers represented by the Morrison Hotel Gallery. Other celebrities have come together working with Rational Animal to support at-risk animals through our Gimme Shelter events.