HOWLAND - Local residents painting portraits of their pets also helped a local fund which provides money to pet owners whose pets face emergency surgeries or other health issues.
Susan Jacobs of Cortland, a 45-year art teacher, said the "Paint + Taste = Fun" paint-along parties allow individuals to complete in three hours a painting while helping to raise money for the Bummer Fund.
"They can have fun painting and leave with a completed canvas," she said.
Susan Sexton, who attended the event, said the Bummer Fund was started in 1994 after a family's pet cat named "Bummer" died and his owner wanted to pay tribute to the veterinarian, Dr. Charles Sung of Hubbard, who took care of him and provided compassionate care.
"The fund has helped many elderly clients when their pets face medical crisis who often have to choose between groceries or medical bill for their pet," she said.
The fund provides financial support to responsible pet owners in need of temporary care. The fund is administered by a board of directors.
Grants are provided by application or veterinarian referral when major medical costs threaten to stand in the way of appropriate treatment for a family pet.
"Once there was a three-year old Labrador retriever that swallowed a sock and needed surgery to remove it. The fund helped the family with the costs," Sexton said.
Mary Brown, owner of Moment for Me Yoga and Wellness Center, hosted the painting party. She said years ago a calendar was sold to help raise funds for the Bummer Fund.
"We thought it would be fun to paint pictures of our pets. We all love animals," Brown said.
Jacobs said the people who attend know it is a paint along event with this event a pet painting. Other themes have been sailboats and flowers.
"Most of the people here have never painted before. There are novice painters who will leave with a completed painted canvas," Jacobs said.
Gretchen Brown of Youngstown chose to paint a picture of a pet quail and was glad to be able to help the Bummer Fund.
"The last thing you want to think about when your pet is seriously sick is where will you get the money for surgery," she said.
Brown said her grandmother raised quails and had a pet quail that helped provide comfort when she battled breast cancer. The quail was later released into the wild when old enough.
Brown said the event was fun and relaxing.
Tina Hyde of Hubbard said the fund helps people focus on getting their pets well without having to worry about how to pay for it.
Donations to the Bummer Fund can be sent to 269 Redondo Road, Youngs-town, 44504. Donations, which are tax deductible, can honor a special person or pet. For information call 330-519-3152.