BALTIMORE — With donations going to the dogs early in BARCS' fundraising season, Bailey Deacon tells us an idea was born.
"We thought 'What if we draw people's dogs?' and 'What if we draw people's cats?' and do it kind of poorly."
Armed with a team of seven so-called artists, they launched the idea on BARCS Facebook page.
"We do have two fine arts majors so we thought it would be really fun if it's a wild card,” said Deacon. “You could get a really great drawing or you might get something absolutely terrible."
At $15 a pop, the group had modest expectations, but that changed in a hurry.
"Our goal was to do $1500 so a hundred drawings, but it took off so fast we raised $1500 within minutes and we knew we just had to let it keep going," Deacon told us.
And going and going with more than a new request per minute coming in for 12 straight hours until orders from throughout the U.S., Guam and the United Kingdom reached 748 bringing in well over $10,000.
"What wound up being so funny about it was the worse the drawing was, the more the people loved it and the more it made everybody laugh," said Deacon. "People just love their pet so much they wanted to be a part of this and perhaps we all needed a laugh here in Maryland and a smile. That's what it brought. That's what kept it going so viral."
The artists have put their viral campaign on hold for now since they're getting ready for their biggest fundraiser of the year, BARCtoberfest, next week, but they will be taking wagers on their Facebook page to see how many minutes it takes a foster dog to eat a pumpkin pie.
Pet portraits, they say, may resume in November.