TOPEKA (KSNT) — A Topeka animal shelter’s latest fundraiser is giving staff the chance to show off their artistic skills, all while giving back to the community. 

Helping Hands Humane Society is selling “poorly drawn” pet portraits as part of this fundraiser. Community members are invited to donate a minimum of $15 to the shelter in return for a portrait of their favorite furry friend. 

For the past week, staff members have been creating unique pictures of local cats and dogs. Some are drawn with markers, some with colored pencils and others are watercolor paintings. However, the fundraiser is called “Poorly Drawn Pet Portraits” for a reason. Many portraits are very well done, while others are much simpler. 

Staff members say each portrait is just the luck of the draw, which is part of what makes this event so fun. Each piece of art is a surprise to the donors. For those wanting a drawing of their pet, the link can be found on the Humane Society’s Facebook page. After clicking on the link, staff members say the sign-up process is easy. 

“If you have either one picture with multiple pets in it, or you want separate portraits for multiple pets, it’s $15 per pet,” said Emi Griess, the shelter’s communications coordinator. “Then you put that photo or photos in the comment of the Facebook post. We will see it, we’ll assign an artist — whether it’s one of our staff or volunteers — and we’ll respond back with a picture of your portrait once we’re done with it.” 

Summer is a busy time for many shelters, and Helping Hands says it has seen an overwhelming number of animals come through its doors recently. Griess says a large part of that increase can be attributed to how expensive owning a pet can be. The shelter wants to make owning a pet more affordable, while also keeping more pets in their homes. 

Griess says this is why the shelter is offering these “Poorly Drawn Pet Portraits.” The shelter is trying to raise a total of $6,000 with these drawings, and it’s just under a third of the way there. If this goal is met, the shelter will be eligible for a $20,000 grant, which will cover microchipping and other health costs some pet owners may not be able to afford. 

“Poorly Drawn Pet Portraits” lasts until August 12.