October 26, 2021

Pooch painting

Shopping, art event raises money for animal shelters

Photos by Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Dogs meet during at Sip, Shop and Adopt pet-friendly event Saturday.

As 9-year-old Griffin, a boxer mix, lapped water from a tinfoil pan left next to each art table, his owners admired the art he had just made.

Fran and Karen McMahon had taken Griffin to Sip, Shop and Adopt, a craft vendor event Saturday at the Cortland Corset Building on East Court Street benefiting three animal shelters.

For three hours, people were able to shop from vendors and buy paintings, soaps and dog treats, with all of the proceeds going to There’s Hope Dog Rescue in Freeville, CNY SNAP in Cortland and Country Acres Animal Shelter in Homer.

“I think it’s a great way to raise money for shelters and pets that don’t have homes,” Fran McMahon of Cortland said.

Nov. 10 will mark five years since the McMahons adopted Griffin from a shelter. They had a dog named Blossom and the McMahons always wanted Blossom to have a companion growing up, so they decided to adopt rescue dogs that were older.

On Saturday Griffin, along with other dogs, went into Instant Artist studio and used their paws to make a picture. Griffin made a bouquet of flowers.

The McMahons said the picture will not only raise money for the shelters, but always be a reminder of Griffin’s ability to make them smile.

“They get you out and doing things,” Fran McMahon said. “They make you feel not so alone and make you see the world. When I come home, he’s always excited and jumps around.”

Melissa Guyette, the owner of Instant Artist, helped create the event because of her passion for rescue dogs, a need to help small animal shelters and an eagerness to get businesses like Cinch Art Space and Instant Artist, among others in the building in the public eye. Guyette also grew up around dogs, so when she wanted to get one later on in life, she knew she wanted it to be a rescue.

Melissa Guyette, left, of Instant Artist Studio, makes art from pawprints by a brindle boxer named Griffin.

“I’ve always been kind of passionate about animals and rescuing them, so it was kind of trying to help them and the building,” Guyette said.

Diana Niemi, the director of There’s Hope Dog Rescue, said every little bit helps, noting the care required for some of the dogs can be costly.

“It depends how badly they are damaged,” she said. “I hate to use that word, but it’s the truth. Sometimes depending on the case, if it’s less severe, the most expensive cost is honestly keeping them with us between the food and medical costs.”

Melissa Guyette, left, of Instant Artist Studio, views artwork with pawprints from Fran McMahon’s brindle boxer named Griffin during a pet-friendly “Sip, Shop and Adopt” event Saturday at the shops at Cortland Corset Building in Cortland.

The shelter will pay for things like dog boot-camps, where they are trained. It comes with a cost of about $2,000. If a dog needs an amputation it can cost $3,000 or more.

“We just never know what we’re going to get our hands on sometimes,” Niemi said. Guyette said the total amount raised Saturday was $310.

“I think because it’s such a great turnout I want to make this an annual event,” Guyette said.