Jessica Tutor hadn’t picked up a paintbrush for years.
But the Ridgewood High School senior was determined to paint her heart out to help Pasco County Animal Services decorate the walls of a Land O’ Lakes building at the animal shelter that is being renovated.
With a paintbrush in hand and several colors of paint at the ready, Jessica sat down to paint a portrait of her English bulldog, Harley.
“[Ridgewood art teacher Darlene Wells] asked me to try it, so I figured I’d go with a dog I know,” Jessica said. “I love my dog and thought I’d give it a try with a dog I had a connection with. You kind of paint their personalities a bit when you know them.”
A Ridgewood physical education class that does community service projects, HOPE, selected Pasco County Animal Services as its community project in the fall. Coach Crissy Cooper’s health and P.E. class decorated gift bags for adopters for the “Empty the Shelter” event on Dec. 22.
The students also donated planters for the front of the adoption center and decorated collars and bowls for the dogs and cats at the shelter. The students also designed backdrops for photographs that decorated the shelter for the holidays.
Wells was approached by Cooper for help with the project.
“They were doing a service project for Pasco County Animal Services, and they asked that we provide portraits of dogs and cats in painting or clay,” Wells said. “I used it as a class project, which we started a couple months ago.”
Animal Services received the paintings and clay art pieces from the students on May 3. The art students painted and sculpted images of dogs, cats, bones and other animal-related projects that they created for the animal shelter.
Building C at Animal Services is undergoing a renovation and the clay art pieces will look great in the newly painted building and on the walls of Building A, the main adoption center, said Judy Gregory, the Education Coordinator for the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners’ Animal Services.
The 48 students produced more than 60 pieces of artwork drawn from photos of their own pets, friends’ pets and teachers’ pets.