Longview animal adoption center offers paintings by dogs

Art has gone to the dogs. The Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center has discovered a way dogs can do acrylic paintings on canvas.
Published: Oct. 1, 2022 at 12:36 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Art has gone to the dogs. Well, at least at the Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center. They’ve discovered a way that dogs can do acrylic paintings on canvas, and the dogs are doing paintings without coming in contact with the paint.

Longview Animal Control Supervisor Chris Kemper is supervising something a little different but still pretty much within his realm of expertise.

“One of our staff members came to us about a year and a half ago, and it was something that she had seen online and had some dogs that were creating these really cool paintings,” Kemper said.

They agreed it would be a draw to the shelter, so they did it. They use canvas, acrylic paint and, of course, the “paintbrush,” which is dog food.

First, paint is poured on a canvas. Then, the canvas is sealed in a plastic bag. Canned dog food is put on the bag, which is placed under the dog’s nose, and the painting begins. And the painting? It knows when it’s licked.

“A lot of them turn out really great. You know, and they’re all unique. And, they’re all a little bit different, just like the animals,” Kemper said.

Sometimes the paint is randomly applied, other times they help a little with a pattern, maybe determined by an upcoming holiday.

“We’ve gone to some of our different events off-site when we’ve taken these, and we’ve sold them. And, at times, we’ve actually attached the animal that did the artwork, and sent it with that animal when the animal got adopted,” Kemper said.

Kemper says it’s nearly inevitable that when someone finds out who the artist is they ask, “Can you tell me a little bit about the dog that did this painting?”

Or cat. Yes, cats do it too, but for cats the staff cover the bagged painting with a blanket, and the cats walk or roll around on it. It’s a slower process.

Y’know. Cats.

“The artwork is cool, but ultimately, we want to talk about the animal. We want to come up with a way that the artwork leads towards that animal finding its forever home,” Kemper said.

So, the artistic animals, and maybe their new owners as well, all have a taste for art. Yeah, it’s in the can.

Kemper says recent paintings will be for sale at Artwalk in downtown Longview on Thursday, October 6. He says they sell them for whatever the buyer thinks they’re worth. Some have paid up to a hundred dollars for the paintings. The money goes to support the shelter and for art supplies.

The dog paintings will be offered up for sale at Longview’s Artwalk, which will be held downtown Thursday evening.