PAWsome art for a good cause

Lavenda Denney, executive director of the Humane Society of Warren County, hangs a piece of artwork for the shelter's PAWcasso on exhibit at Blue Ridge Art Gallery in Front Royal. The fundraiser features artwork created with shelter pets and staff and can be purchased at the end of the show Friday. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – The Blue Ridge Art Council will host a PAWcasso Art Exhibit to benefit kennel improvements at the Humane Society of Warren County.

Lavenda Denney, executive director of the Humane Society of Warren County, said 40 one-of-a-kind pieces of art created by shelter animals will be available for purchase from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the Blue Ridge Art Council in Front Royal.

She said that 10 cats, nine dogs and one horse provided their paws, and hooves, to create artwork centered around their unique paw prints.

“I had no idea it would be this great,” she said about the fundraiser.

She said this was the first time staff collaborated beginning back in October with the sponsorship of Kelly Walker at The Studio- A Place for Learning in Front Royal. Walker stopped by the shelter to teach staff how to get the paint on the prints and how to get a nice paw print on the matted paper.

“It became this very beautiful, very creative art exhibit,” she added.

She said Walker also privately commissioned 10 pieces of art for the benefit. Families could bring their personal pets into the studio for $250 each and had paw print art created.

Denney said if all shelter pieces are sold, the Humane Society should raise $4,000 that will go towards their $40,000 project to renovate their large dog area for kennel improvements. Improvements to the 13-year-old building include new doorways, kennel gating with privacy panels and feeder bowls that are off the ground.

She said the shelter does a variety of creative fundraisers throughout the year to cover costs associated with keeping the shelter up and running.

“We have to raise a lot of money in order to save the amount of pets that we save,” she said. “We have to save about a quarter of a million dollars a year in this rural community so we learned early on that we needed to be creative with our fundraising.”

Prices for framed and matted shelter pet PAWcassos:
• $25 for an 8-inch by 10-inch.
• $50 for an 11-inch by 14-inch.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with refreshments provided. A $10 good will donation will earn you a chance to win a door prize.

The Blue Ridge Art Council is located at 305 E. Main Street Ste. #1 in Front Royal.