Maria Bell is a photographer and graphic illustrator who has lived in Oakville for over a quarter century. The Town has changed a great deal over that period of time and one of the changes Maria has noticed is the increased number of dog owners within the community. Maria has had a life-long love of dogs and truly enjoys seeing more of her favourite creatures out and about. Her love of the Town, the dogs of Oakville and her profession have been the inspiration for her book, "The Dogs of Oakville". The book came about after five years working with Snap Magazine, creating the monthly feature "Dogs of Oakville" which brought photographs of people's canine pets to the pages of Snap Magazine.
With the larger pet population, Maria could see a growing demand for relief to aid pets in need. Hoping to contribute and give back to the animals Maria so deeply respected, her vision was create a memento that would be valued by the community and stand as a testament to the character of Oakville's canine population. This was not a small effort and only the contributions of many people within the community made the project a success. The first book was published in 2012 and featured interviews and photos of 183 members of Oakville's canine population. Sales of the book resulted in a donation of $25,000 to the Oakville & Milton Humane Society. Well done Oakville.

Since then Maria has published four more editions, including The Cats of Oakville. In total these delightful books, the dogs and cats within them and their owners have raised over $100,000 for The Oakville & Milton Humane Society.

Maria Bell lives in Oakville with her husband Craig and her two chihuahuas, Kiba and Lexington