pet portraits

With Fredericksburg SPCA’s ‘OPERATION: Not-So-Professional Pet Portraits,’ staff and volunteers will draw pictures from owners’ provided pet photos.

If you have a pet, chances are there are several hundred pictures of him or her on your smartphone.

During this tense time of social distancing, Fredericksburg Regional SPCA hopes to lift spirits, give social media news feeds a break from virus-related content and raise funds for the organization by using your amateur pet photos to create equally amateur pet portraits.

For a minimum donation of $10, SPCA staff and volunteers will draw your pet’s portrait based on a photo you provide them.

“Since the SPCA is closed the next two weeks, we figured we’d make the most out of our social distancing/self quarantine to do something fun and creative, in the hopes to add some levity to our community and raise some dire funding for the work that we do,” marketing and communications manager Siobhan Young wrote in a Facebook post about the fundraiser.

Young wrote in an email to the Free Lance–Star that the campaign raised $800 for the SPCA in about half a day.

The “artists” who create the pet portraits are SPCA staff, foster parents and volunteers.

“I save and delegate each portrait through a spreadsheet and our private Facebook groups, so each ‘artist’ can create their masterpiece from the comfort of their own home, while self-quarantining or social-distancing,” Young wrote.

Young said the SPCA, like many nonprofit organizations, relies on donations from the community to support its operations. With the shelter closed and no events scheduled, organizations are coming up with creative ways to engage supporters.

The Fredericksburg SPCA pushed to get all of its animals into foster homes before closing, Young said. She said the closure would last until March 31 and may extend longer.

There are currently 20 animals left in the building who still need fostering.

All volunteers have been asked to stop coming in and only essential staff, such as the veterinary team and animal care technicians, are working.

Adoptions can still happen, but by appointment only, Young said.

Visit or email to set up an adoption appointment. Check out the pet portrait fundraiser on the group’s Facebook page at

Adele Uphaus-Conner:



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