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Humane Society pets lend their paws for the cause
Dogs, cats create works to auction at upcoming Art with Heart event
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Karma Sandell, a volunteer, and Jill Haack, a local artist, get Barbie to stick her feet in paint before adding her footprints to a painting Saturday at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. The paintings will be auctioned off at Art with Heart which is held in February at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Anyone who has owned a dog or cat can attest to the difficulty of getting a confused animal to follow directions. But for local artist Jill Haack, convincing dogs to make art is a walk in the park.

Haack led a pet art event Saturday at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, the animals of the shelter themselves creating two of the paintings that will be up for auction at the eighth annual Art with Heart event in February. Over the course of a few hours, Haack and volunteers assisted a group of puzzled cats and dogs in making their prints on canvases, using paws, noses and tongues.

At Art with Heart, members of the public will have a chance to bid on the two paintings, along with 175 other auction items, including original and limited edition works from both regional and nationally known artists.

“All proceeds go toward covering the costs of keeping the animals here”, said Community Relations Manager Samantha Threadgill.

In 2015, Art with Heart raised more than $65,000 for the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, and this year organizers hope to top that.

Threadgill said the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia houses between 100 and 140 animals at any given time, and adoptions average 100 a month. But that the HSNEGA needs all the help that it can get, and that benefits like Art with Heart go a long way toward covering all of the many services they offer.

Art with Heart, a silent and live auction benefit for the Humane Society of North Georgia, is set for 7-11 p.m. Feb. 20 at Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville.

Tickets are $55 per person or $100 per couple, including snacks and a complementary wine bar sponsored by Barefoot Wines and Spirits, and can be purchased online at

Donations to the HSNEGA can be made by contacting Julie Edwards at (770) 532-6617 or via email at