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Fundraiser at Montana animal shelter offers one-of-a-kind art

Pet Roulette: Fundraiser at Billings shelter offers one-of-a-kind art
Posted at 1:33 PM, Mar 08, 2023

BILLINGS - The Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter (YVAS) may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of somewhere to get a drawing of your pet, but for the month of March, the shelter is holding a fundraiser, Pet Roulette, to get a work of art.

With Pet Roulette, after donating $20 and uploading a photo of a pet to the website, your name will be entered into the rotation of artists drawing for the fundraiser. The catch? Some artists are more talented than others.

Kyria Mjelde
Kyria Mjelde completed this drawing in about 20 minutes.

Kyria Mjelde has worked at the shelter for three years. When she heard about the fundraiser idea, she couldn't wait to begin. It's two things she loves combined.

“I was very excited,” said Mjelde. “I was very artistic when I was a kid. I wanted to go into animation, and then I kind of fell into the shelter life and I don’t regret it. I absolutely don’t regret it, but I’m very excited to get a chance to draw again.”

YVAS development director Tiffany Smith said she's better at taking care of the animals than she is drawing them.

“You might get a really great talented artist, or you might get somebody like me who can’t draw their way out of a paper bag, but that’s kind of the fun of it,” Smith said.

In the first 24 hours of the fundraiser, the shelter received over 55 photo submissions. With that much interest, Smith said they're looking for more volunteers to draw.

Completed drawing

“If this is a fun way that you would want to get involved and help support the shelter, donate your time, talents. Absolutely,” Smith said.

Once an artist completes the drawing, the shelter will mail the masterpiece to your home.

“One way or the other it’s sure to make you smile,” Smith said.