Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Proud of your pet? Add his or her image to mural and help animals at Pinellas shelter

Anna Hamilton meets Gracie, whose likeness she painted on a lobby wall at Pinellas County Animal Services next to late retriever pal Biff. The mural is just one of Hamilton’s contributions to animals.


Anna Hamilton meets Gracie, whose likeness she painted on a lobby wall at Pinellas County Animal Services next to late retriever pal Biff. The mural is just one of Hamilton’s contributions to animals.


After their beloved dog Biff died in May, Mary Taylor was searching for a meaningful way to memorialize the 14-year-old golden retriever when an idea just bounded onto her lap.

For $100, Biff's portrait would adorn a wall in the main lobby of Pinellas County Animal Services on Ulmerton Road in Largo.

Now the image of Biff — as well as Taylor's current golden retriever, Gracie — greets the veterinary technician every day when she goes to work.

"This is just perfect," Taylor said. "It will be here forever."

And it'll help animals in need.

Artist Anna Hamilton has partnered with Pinellas County Animal Services to create the Pinellas Paws Cause mural. The idea behind the partnership, organizers say, is to offer people an opportunity to "put their paw in" by volunteering, adopting and donating.

For a $100 donation, a portrait of one's furred or feathered friend is painted from a photo onto the mural, which is just beginning to take shape at the shelter. A digital photo of the portrait will be sent to donors upon completion.

Twenty-five percent of the donation goes to the Animal Welfare Trust Fund. Established in 2006, the fund helps buy medicine, food for special diets, toys and other special-need items for the animals at the shelter, where more than 20,000 are cared for each year. It also helps keep pets and their families united during these tough times by assisting families with basic necessities.

On Wednesday, it took Hamilton about an hour to create the likeness of Brittani, a seeing-eye dog who serves a Marine who lost his sight in combat in Iraq.

"I'm thrilled that I can give back to the dogs by doing this," said Hamilton, 39, a professional muralist for the past 15 years.

Hamilton is the artist who has been painting hundreds of animal portraits on three murals in Dunedin since last year. The murals have helped raise more than $4,000 for Dunedin Doggie Rescue. The biggest — dubbed the Dogedin mural — depicts sugar gliders, horses, cats, a flying pig and a goat among the menagerie.

The idea has been so popular that Hamilton and her business partner, Dawn Carney, established a nonprofit group called Murals for Mutts. Since then, Hamilton has been raising her brush for animal welfare groups in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Gulfport.

The thinking is that not only will the mural contribute to the well-being of creatures, but it will transform the adoption center into a warmer and more welcoming place. Potential pet adopters will be surrounded by the likes of Chelsea, Biscuit, Molly, Theodore, Ben-G and Petunia, a 2-year-old French bulldog pictured wearing a red sweater.

"It's her first time on a mural," said Petunia's owner, Joan Ghassemi of St. Petersburg. "We just wanted to support the trust fund. It helps the animals and families, and that's important during these times."

Contact Terri Bryce Reeves at

Add to the mural, visit the shelter

• To order a pet portrait or find out more, visit,

e-mail or call (727) 902-1671.

• To adopt animals, donate or volunteer, visit or call (727) 582-2600. The

hotline for lost or found pets is (727) 582-2604.

Coming up: On Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Animal Services, at 12450 Ulmerton Road in Largo, will host an open house to celebrate Pinellas Paws Cause with a food truck rally, reduced adoption and rabies vaccination fees, and $5 pet photos with Santa Paws to benefit the Animal Welfare Trust Fund.

Proud of your pet? Add his or her image to mural and help animals at Pinellas shelter 11/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, November 12, 2011 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.