One-Eared Dog Creates the Most Expensive Piece of Artwork by A Dog
Look out, art community. There’s a new star artist making waves, and he has four legs! To celebrate his 8th birthday, talented doggie artist Van Gogh is raising money for Happily Furever After Rescue in Bethel, CT, by hosting an online auction featuring his original paintings. One masterpiece, his rendition of “Starry Night,” has set records as the most experience piece of artwork ever created by a dog after receiving a $10,000 bid from well-known brand PEDIGREE.
Life wasn’t always easy for the 7-year-old Boxer/Pitbull mix. He was saved from a dog fighting ring where he had been used as bait, resulting in significant injuries. The damage to his ear was so substantial that the ear had to be surgically removed. This left him with the unique one-eared appearance that earned him the name of Van Gogh.
After finding this adorable pup waiting for his forever home in a North Carolina shelter, Jaclyn Gartner, founder of Happily Furever After Rescue, had him transported to a foster home in Connecticut for the next chapter in his journey. He came off the plane from his fight with Pilots N Paws wagging his tail and happily greeting everyone he encountered. It was clear right away that he was a happy and loving dog, ready to find his happily ever after.
Like many Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes, Van Gogh struggled to catch the attention of potential adopters. He was waiting for four months when Gartner realized she would have to think “outside the box” if she was going to help the lovable boy stand out. She recalled seeing videos on TikTok of dogs painting by placing a canvas with paint inside a plastic bag covered in peanut butter. As the dogs lick the peanut butter off the bag, the paint inside is moved about to create a colorful design. Not only would this offer a fun enrichment opportunity for Van Gogh, but this creative talent would help him stand out.
Gartner didn’t realize how significant this introduction to painting would be for the happy pup.
Van Gogh’s first art show was held on October 23, 2022. During the show, he sold two paintings for $40 each, with the proceeds benefiting the rescue. As word got out about his story, with the help of a viral TikTok video, demand for his paintings grew considerably. Not only did his remaining paintings sell out, but dozens more were ordered, providing the rescue with the funds necessary to save many more animals in need. Even more exciting was that Van Gogh’s newfound artistic talent allowed him to find his forever home – with a rescue volunteer named Jessica Starowitz.
Today, happy in his forever home, Van Gogh continues to paint his masterpieces to support Happily Furever. His current auction opened for bidding on March 3rd and will continue through March 30th. All funds raised from the sale of Van Gogh’s artwork will go directly to Happily Furever After Rescue.
The impressive donation from PEDIGREE is just one example of the dedication and commitment the PEDIGREE brand and PEDIGREE Foundation have made to eradicate pet homelessness in the United States. The foundation’s vision statement declares, “We see a day when all dogs are safe, secure, cared for, fed well, and loved.”
Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her “pack” which includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.
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