CONNOQUENESSING TWP — Woof-woof, wag-wag, pant-pant and “Voila.”
Resident animals of the Butler County Humane Society — like Dennis, a 4-year-old beagle — created the 36 pieces of art to be auctioned Saturday at the “Pawcasso” fundraiser.
The event, which will be held at the Atrium, is expected to draw about 200 people and raise $15,000 for the nonprofit, no-kill organization.
“Pawcasso is just meant to be a fun event,” said Lynette Vybiral, executive director of the county humane society.
The event's highlight is art created by shelter resident dogs and cats this summer, when the weather was friendly to outdoor activities.
Sheets of wax paper covered in animal-safe paint were splayed between canvasses on the shelter's sidewalk. The art “appeared” as animals walked between the sheets, sometimes with a little coaxing from volunteers and staff.
“We went through a number of packs of hot dogs,” said Jill Hall, the society's events and volunteer coordinator.
Afterward, the pieces were named, framed and matted. Wexford artist Cindy Shaffer, who also does the organization's shelter photos and pictures with Santa, lent her artistic touch to finishing each piece up for auction at Pawcasso.
Depending on the size of the art piece, bids will start at $50 or $100.
Also on sale will be aprons made from the drop cloths used during the art-making process, postcards made to replicate this year's pieces and T-shirts with the emblem “Blue Tango,” the art piece completed by Dennis the beagle. Also for sale will be bird houses and ceramic bowls made by local artists.
The event also will offer hors d'oeuvres wine, beer, a Chinese auction and a silent auction.
Although the humane society first held a Pawcasso auction in 2004, it has not been an annual event because it is labor-intensive, Vybiral said.
Vybiral said the money raised from this year's Pawcasso auction will be used for the shelter animal's direct care, including the spaying and neutering of animals, medical treatment and food.
Vybiral said many people don't realize some of the costs that go into running the shelter. For example, she said the shelter's average monthly water bill runs about $500. A month's supply of the soap used to clean the kennels costs $250. And one case of canned dog food costs about $20.
As of this week, the shelter housed 135 animals: 90 cats and 45 dogs. A dozen of those adoptable animal will be in attendance at the Pawcasso event.
“This event is not only to raise funds, but also to raise awareness,” Hall said. “To celebrate the beauty and unique personalities of all the animals.”
IF YOU'RE GOING
WHAT: Pawcasso, an art-auction event benefiting the Butler County Humane Society
WHEN: from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The Atrium, 1031 New Castle Road
TICKETS: $25 in advance and $30 at the door