Artist Elizabeth Ellis has a mission: to paint shelter dogs located all across the country. The artist is an animal welfare activist who started a year-long project called Gallery of 52 Rescues to promote awareness of shelter animals. And you can get involved by nominating a shelter animal, or making a donation.

In the Gallery of 52 Rescues on her website, Ellis adds an 8×10” watercolor portrait painting of one adoptable animal currently in a shelter each week. At the end of 2015, there will be 52 different paintings of shelter dogs and an exhibition of the paintings at Dreaming Tree Galleries in Grove City, Ohio. The artist will then mail all of the artwork to wherever that dog is located – at the shelter, or in a new loving home – free of charge.

One of the lovely paintings: Miss Pibbles

Miss Pibbles, part of the Year of 52 Rescues project. Photo courtesy of the artist, Elizabeth Ellis.

The artist writes:

This is Miss Pibbles. She came into foster care fresh off a dog fight, and pregnant with three puppies. Two died shortly after they were born. One puppy survived and is also currently available for adoption. Because of her history, Miss Pibbles does not get on well with other animals, but she loves people. She is a miniature pit bull, about the size of a beagle, and she is very intelligent. She is being fostered in Birmingham, Alabama. If you would like contact information for her foster mom, you can contact me for that.

How you can help the Gallery of 52 Rescues

You can submit a shelter or rescue dog of your choice for consideration, and Ellis may paint the dog for the shelter or rescue. You can submit the shelter dog for consideration on the web form at the bottom of the project page.

You can also help by donating materials you are no longer using: from pillowcases and envelopes to watercolor paper. You can find a full list of items and an address to send them to on the project page here, and more information about cash donations can be found here.

Track the project

Elizabeth Ellis will be posting updates about the project on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. Follow her and the beautiful artwork of these animals available for adoption!

Year of 52 rescues #1 Harry Cause for Paws Etna, Ohio

A photo posted by Elizabeth Ellis (@wetpaintelizabeth) on

About Author

Jen deHaan is graphic designer, small business owner, and dog person living in Bay Area, California. Jen enjoys learning about dog training and behavior, and has taken several courses and seminars since 2010. She also contributes articles to leading websites, such as Victoria Stilwell's Positively . It all started with a great dog called Mikey (aka "dude"), loved and lost but remembered forever. Jen also runs a freelance business focusing on graphic, web, and UI design at FoundPixel, and a small business creating hand crafted dog products at Stylish Canine.