5 reasons to attend Hand in Paw’s Picasso Pets, including seeing Pogo, the miniature pony, on August 11

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Picasso Pets
Vintage Picasso Pets. Photo courtesy of Hand in Paw.

Breakout your beret! Hand in Paw’s 18th Annual Picasso Pets, the Magic City’s most beloved and liveliest gala, is coming to the Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham on August 11.

Get your tickets – HERE

In celebration of Hand in Paw, we have compiled a list of top 5 reasons you should attend the 2018 edition of Picasso Pets.

1. Picasso Pets is a one of a kind event.

Quite frankly, there is not an event like Picasso Pets anywhere else. Hand in Paw’s founder, Beth Franklin, originally named the event ‘Monet Mutts and Pitcatso’ before settling on its present iconic name: Picasso Pets.

In the early days, the human and animal artists each wore red berets at the event. Dogs were the primary artists, but cats, horses, goats, a pig and a llama have all participated as well.

Vintage Picasso Pets. Photo courtesy of Hand in Paw.
2. Picasso Pets is the primary fundraiser for Hand in Paw.

Picasso Pets is Hand in Paw’s signature gala and their largest single source of revenue.

Nationally recognized as one of most innovative and best animal-assisted therapy programs in the country, Hand in Paw works with local agencies and hospitals such as the UAB Health System, Children’s of Alabama, Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center, the YWCA, The Exceptional Foundation, Brookwood Medical Center, DCH Regional Medical Center, Ronald McDonald House, The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs, nursing homes, schools and other agencies.

At the event, guests can mingle with star therapy animals, peruse a top-notch silent auction, sip craft beer, wine, and specialty cocktails, enjoy a delicious seated dinner, and participate in a incredible live auction. The night’s main event is the debut of paintings created by pets belonging to prominent members of our community (with a little help from well-known local artists!).

Photo courtesy of Hand in Paw.

Here is this year’s lineup of animal artists, Muse (the human artists) and Guardians (owners of the pets).

Animal Artist: Elsa
Muse: Bob McKenna
Guardians: Cameron & Scott Vowell

Animal Artists: Callie & Fhearigus
Muse: Kristi Oelschlaeger
Guardians: Kim & Corbin Day

Animal Artist: Murphy
Muse: Thomas Andrew
Guardians: Kathryn & Cody Ryder

Animal & Grandson Artists: Sadie & Braxton
Muse: Linda Ellen Price
Guardians: Cathy & Jack Stephenson

Animal Artists: Sweet Pea, Trooper & Willie
Muse: John Lytle Wilson
Guardians: Danielle & Bart Yancey

3. Pogo, the miniature pony with a prosthetic leg will be in attendance.
Preview of Pogo’s artwork. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

One of the highlights of the evening will be meeting the inspirational artists and animals. This year, one of the featured animals is Pogo, a miniature pony, rescued by Helping Horses of Alabama, after he had lost his leg after being attacked by wild animals in rural Alabama.

Here are photos of Pogo, who has been fitted with a prosthetic leg working with artist Danielle Tickell.

Pogo, who has been fitted with a prosthetic leg working with artist Danielle Tickell. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.
Pogo, who has been fitted with a prosthetic leg working with artist Danielle Tickell. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.
4. The silent auction is going “mobile” this year.

There is nothing like attending Picasso Pets in person.

Brittany Jennings, Director of Communications, states, “You don’t want to miss this year’s Picasso Pets! Our theme is Pop Art, so there is going to be tons of color and unique decorations all around the venue. We’ve also decided to go mobile with the silent auction, making the bidding experience much more streamlined.”

Learn all about mobile bidding instructions – HERE

General Admission tickets are $200; reserved tables are available through many different sponsorship opportunities. Attire is colorful cocktail.
All tickets include access to the silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, a specialty cocktail, a seated dinner, and an opportunity to participate in the live auction.

To purchase tickets and sponsorships, or to learn more about Picasso Pets, please visit www.picassopets.com

Photo courtesy of Hand in Paw.
5. The cause. Hand in Paw enriches lives.

Bottomline, the cause is what makes Picasso Pets such a special event. Hand in Paw is an extraordinary organization that touches the lives of nearly a 100,000 people a year with the help of 175 local volunteers and their therapy animals.

Picasso Pets was created to showcase not only Hand in Paw’s love for animals, but also to celebrate their amazing ability to help people have a brighter day, to heal and to realize their potential.

All funds raised enable Hand in Paw to carry out their mission to improve human health and well-being.

Please join Hand in Paw for the 18th Annual Picasso Pets.

Sponsored by:

Birmingham, Hand in Paw, Mutt Strut


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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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