In 2019, Cheddar Paws Dog Art began to help “cheesy smiling dogs get adopted” with brightly-colored painted portraits.
The Pennsylvania nonprofit began when animal behavior consultant Natahnee Miller and Karen Spidle, a wildlife rehabilitator and animal advocate, went to a “paint your pet” event, reports Yahoo! According to Spidle, the cheesy name reflects that “all dogs love cheese!”
First, they painted a 5-month-old American Staffordshire terrier named Napster rescued from animal cruelty. After over a year in a shelter, the dog continued to be overlooked. So, Miller tried something creative with her artistic portrait.
After painting Napster, the concept for Cheddar Paws was born. The next portrait on Facebook is Thor, God of Snuggles, a pit bull looking for a forever home. After his portrait, Thor found a home, and it kept building from there.
🎨 Colorful Artwork to Promote Shelter Pets 🎨
To help raise awareness about adoptable shelter pets, Cheddar Paws began asking local businesses to hang their portraits. Then, viewers can also see the shelter information and find out about the unique subject of the art.
After the word spread around town, more local artists joined the effort. Before long, the list of artists grew to ten, all with different styles. However, all the artists strive to capture each pet’s unique personality.
Over the years, the artists helped shelters throughout Pennsylvania, then began branching out to other states.
Each time the artists paint a dog or cat, they greatly increase the odds of finding a forever home. To date, about 70% of the dogs painted find homes! Thus, it’s a creative outlet that saves animals’ lives and connects people with a loving companion.
“To date, we’ve painted 197 dogs, and 138 have been adopted,” Miller says.
Whenever a long-term shelter dog finds a home, it’s particularly rewarding.
“It’s so rewarding to be able to post a long-termer with ‘Adopted’ stamped on their portrait!” Spidle says. We can’t wait to see those numbers rack up!
In each case, the family takes home the portrait with their furry friend.
Cheddar Paws Dog (and Sometimes Cat) Art
Below, a dog named Max found his forever home after his portrait received 4000 views.
For the Speranza Animal Rescue, the artists painted Linus, Craig, Thelma, Mama Goose, and Barbie. As the animals await adoption, the group continues to share their portraits, each time giving them a big boost of needed attention.
Below, a proud owner smiles with his companion and dog art while another pet looks a little jealous.
“Here is Freckles with his new owner, his painting and apparently his new sister in the backround is howling mad “where’s my painting?” Too cute! Beck of luck Freckles!!”
Although most of the portraits are canines, the artists do paint cats too. Below, a cat named Leo found a home with help from his portrait. The same artist recently painted this adorable dog for the Hillside SPCA.
Below, a cat named Lenny really seems to dig his portrait in his forever home.
Below, a dog named Kors posed proudly with his spot-on Cheddar Paws Dog Art.