The Mutt Gala: Bristol Animal Rescue Centre to auction off paintings made by its dogs

The idea for the fundraiser came from a previous canine resident called ‘Banksy’
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Dogs at Bristol Animal Rescue Centre have been busy creating paintings which will be displayed and auctioned off at a unique event in the city.

The Bristol event, which has been dubbed ‘The Mutt Gala’ and inspired by Vogue Magazine’s annual Met Gala in New York - will celebrate animal art and help raise funds to care for vulnerable animals in Bristol.

The charity is being supported by East Bristol Auctions, who will auction off the paintings at the exclusive event.

Doggy painting is an activity that carers at the Rescue Centre do with dogs as part of their enrichment activities programme, to help them get ready for rehoming.

The idea for the unique fundraiser came from a previous canine resident, who was nicknamed ‘Banksy’ due to his artistic talent.

In 2021 the charity auctioned off paintings created by the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who went viral after creating a series of artworks inspired by his graffiti artist namesake.

Banksy’s doggy paintings fetched £500 in an online auction and he appeared on TV around the world, from Washington to the United Arab Emirates.

Banksy has since been happily rehomed, but with many more of the Centre’s current canine residents getting busy with their canvases and paints, it is hoped that the upcoming auction will surpass his amazing achievements.

Jodie Bennett, Community & Engagement Officer at Bristol Animal Rescue Centre said: “Many of the dogs who arrive at Bristol A.R.C. haven’t had the best start in life, so our expert team of behaviourists work carefully with them to get them ready for rehoming.

“Part of the journey to get them ready for their new home involves a series of enrichment activities to help them bond with carers and learn to have fun again. Many of the dogs really enjoy painting, it’s a fantastic enrichment activity for them that gets them out of the kennels and getting that one-on-one attention that they love.”

Alba shows of her work with Bristol Animal Rescue Centre’s JodieAlba shows of her work with Bristol Animal Rescue Centre’s Jodie
Alba shows of her work with Bristol Animal Rescue Centre’s Jodie

The charity hopes that the auction will raise some much-needed funds to see it through what is expected to be a tough winter.

Jodie said: “It’s been a challenging year for the Rescue Centre as we’ve seen an increase in demand for our services. The cost of living crisis is forcing many pet owners to make difficult decisions and we’ve also seen an increase in abandonments this year too.”

Bristol Animal Rescue Centre says it’s struggling to meet demand, with approximately 50 dogs currently in the charity’s care – around double the usual number for this time of year, as well as a surge in the number of incidents of neglect being reported.

It is hoped that the auction of these doggy artworks will help fund the care for the influx of animals who are expected to arrive at the charity’s doors and at their local Outreach Clinics over the cold winter months.

The event takes place on 17 November from 6pm at Bristol Aquarium. Tickets cost £15 for auction only, or £40 for auction plus access to the Aquarium and can be bought online here.

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