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Karen Derrico
Karen Derrico is a lifelong animal lover and advocate and has been involved in helping animal rescue organizations for many years through her Painting4Paws art project. She has written for several pet-related websites and is the author Unforgettable Mutts—a photo-essay book devoted to mixed-breed and special needs dogs.
A native of Southern California, Karen founded the Pet Gazette, a popular pet magazine distributed in Los Angeles and Orange County, featuring stories on everything from pet psychics to dog dentists and in-person interviews with animal-loving celebrities including "Golden Girls" Betty White and Rue Rue McClanahan, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Loretta Switt, and Dick Van Patten. She also published The Pet Lover's Directory, a resource guide for Southern California pet owners. In 1999 Karen relocated to Northern Virginia and in 2004 started creating her unique animal art. Her work has been exhibited at venues throughout DC and Northern Virginia, including several locations in Reston, has been featured in Elan magazine and the Washington Post, and was voted one of the area's "Best Pet Artists" by Washingtonian Magazine. To date she has raised more than $35,000 through her artwork for animal organizations around the country. Karen currently resides in Oakton with her husband, teenage son, and her two rescue dogs, Hannah a basset mix, and Elllie a dachshund/chihuahua mix. Their favorite place to go? Where else but the Reston dog park!  
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