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Get a (bad) pet portrait done courtesy of the Guelph Humane Society

For $20, residents can get a hand-drawn portrait of their pet done by a member of the GHS board of directors

The Guelph Humane Society is looking to have some fun creating portraits of people’s pets to support the animals in its care. Bad portraits.

Drawing on similar events held at other shelters, on Wednesday the GHS started a new fundraising event called (Bad) Pet Portraits. For $20, residents can get a hand-drawn portrait of their pet done by one of nine members of the GHS board of directors.

"They thought this would be a really good way to get the community involved, and a nice little fundraiser and just to have a little bit of fun over the summer," said Natalie Thomas, manager of marketing and communications at the GHS.

The way it works is residents can submit a photo of their pet to the GHS and one of their directors will spend three weeks creating the portrait. Once complete, a digital copy of the portrait will be sent to the resident by email.

“A couple of our directors have a really good skill set ... one of them is really good,” she said about the varying drawing skills, “So it’s luck of the draw whichever director is drawing your portrait.”

Started in the United States and inspired by online articles written about similar fundraising initiatives done at other shelters, Thomas explains the directors thought it would be a good way to build engagement during the pandemic.

“For one, it’s easy in terms of following public health measures," she said, "There’s no contact being made so that makes it safe, but it’s just something fun to do and share online.”

More than one pet can be featured in a portrait, but the GHS will charge extra. For two pets, the additional fee is $5, and for three pets, it is an additional $10.

“We decided that was going to be the limit, just because for non-professional artists, it would be a lot if someone had five dogs in a photo and our directors were drawing five dogs in one photo,” said Thomas, “We didn’t think that many people would be upset if we limited it at three per photo."

Since participants are receiving a portrait in return for their purchase, Thomas mentions they will not receive a tax receipt unless they make an additional donation on top of that purchase.

"Anything over $20, and a donation on top of the price, will have a tax receipt," she said.

The event will be running until Aug. 27, and with no startup costs involved, and all proceeds will go directly to animals at the shelter.

“They're all having fun with it and they're really excited for it."

Additional information about (Bad) Pet Portraits can be found at


Ariel Deutschmann

About the Author: Ariel Deutschmann

Ariel Deutschmann is a feature writer and reporter who covers community events, businesses, social initiatives, human interest stories and more involving Guelph and Wellington County
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