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Doodling for Dollars:
NEAHS Staff Showcases
Artistic Skills During Fundraiser

story by Audrey Poff, photos submitted

A recent fundraiser taken on by the staff of the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society provided additional funding for the nonprofit organization and a bit of comic relief as staff members showcased their artistic skills (or lack thereof) by drawing pets for donations during the month of June.

Northeast Arkansas Humane Society (NEAHS) staff member Lisa Trevathan presented the idea for the nonprofit’s first Bad Pet Photo Fundraiser, said NEAHS Executive Director Hillary Starnes.

“Lisa had seen a similar contest that was done by another shelter,” said Starnes. “She contacted them to get information about the contest and then told the staff about it.”

Participating pet owners simply posted a photo of their pet under the contest post on the NEAHS Facebook page. For a $15 donation, a staff member then sketched a photo of the pet and posted a photo of the illustration, alongside the original photo that had been submitted by the owner, on Facebook. For a $25 donation, the artistic rendering was also mailed to the pet owner.

Although there was some initial hesitation on the part of a few staff members who did not think they had any artistic ability, Starnes said everyone eventually came on board.

“At first, we had some people who didn’t want to draw, but once everyone realized it didn’t have to be perfect, everyone wanted to participate,” she said. “They all enjoyed it. We got a kick out of everyone’s skills. People would draw at lunch or on their own time. I didn’t know they were talented like that. We also had a few volunteers who came up to do some, as well.”

For the most part, all 10 staff members assisted with the fundraiser.

“Everybody but me,” said Starnes with a laugh. “I’ve done one drawing, but after the staff saw it, they wouldn’t let me draw any more.”

The Bad Pet Photo Fundraiser has been well received, Starnes said of the community's response, adding that the nonprofit will likely do it again in the future.

“People have loved it,” she said.

During the fundraiser held throughout the month of June, Starnes estimated that the contest raised more than $2,000 for NEAHS with staff members drawing more than 120 pets.

To view all of the illustrations of pets drawn during the contest, visit the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society on Facebook.