Good Pets. Good Kids. Charming Portraits.

Good Pets. Good Kids. Charming Portraits.

By: Judy Hamontre, AVHS Vice-chair

One of Ark-Valley Humane Society’s most heartwarming events is our “Good Pet/Bad Portrait” fundraiser. Held this year from February 26 though March 10, there were 100 participants and 73 artists, the highest numbers compared to those from past years.

The event is pretty straight forward. Participants make a donation to AVHS and send in a few photos of their beloved pet in order to receive a portrait which is created by volunteer artists.

Participants know that the age and talent of artists vary, meaning the quality of the actual portrait is always a bit of a surprise, maybe not being the most artistic (“bad portrait”).

However, the love that goes into each and every creation is always heartfelt and therefore, well received. According to Sarah, “My favorite picture of my sweet Aussie was drawn by a five year old. It captured her eyes and soul.”

Particularly exciting this year was the number of classrooms participating, including Pre-K though high school students.

The Buena Vista High School National Art Honor Society students contributed 9 portraits, and Buena Vista middle school students contributed 6. Their teachers shared that students were excited about this project because they all love animals and were thrilled to help the shelter, especially since some of their pets were adopted from AVHS.

The Van Meter Secondary School in Iowa has participated for several years, contributing 14 portraits this year. Their  teacher comments, “I look forward to this event every year because it gives my 8th and 9th grade student artists a chance to shine, to use their talents to contribute positively to the world, which is what we all hope to do, right?”

She adds, “Middle schoolers/high schoolers need positive pieces to identify with and this opportunity helps them build one more defining piece into who they are and who they are becoming.”

Also thrilled to contribute their artwork were the youngsters at the Salida Early Childhood Center’s Pre-K “Blue Star Class.” They did 10 portraits and sent AVHS a thank you note written by their teacher, Alana:

“It has been such a pleasure for us to take part in this fundraiser. The kids were excited to learn the dogs’ names and sketch their photos. This was also a great learning experience for them as they gained an understanding of the importance of animal shelters.”

AVHS appreciates all the artists who make this special event possible, but the joy of bringing youth and companion animals together is truly heartwarming.

If you would like a charming portrait of your dog or cat, put this event on your 2025 calendar, and teachers, if you would like your students to share their talents and compassion for companion animals. Contact the AVHS Outreach Manager, Emy Nettleblad at or call (719) 395-2737.


Recommended Posts