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'Rubbish' Pet Portraits Raise Over £50k For Homeless

This may have started off as a joke, but Hercule Van Wolfwinkle's "rubbish" pet portraits are being sold like hotcakes and have raised over £50k for a homeless charity. Also, we want one too. 

As BBC News reports, Phil Heckels, from Worthing, West Sussex, started working until the alias Hercule Van Wolfwinkle in 2020. Jokingly, he drew his his dog and put it on Facebook, offering paid-for commissions. He was just as surprised as anyone when genuine requests started coming in. Not only that, but his drawings have gotten really popular, and as pet owners ourselves, we can totally see why. Because the volume of requests was so big, it essentially became a lottery where Wolfwinkle decides who he draws and who he doesn't.

In addition to the drawings, Wolfwinkle writes accompanying fake profiles for each pet as well as reviews from the 'customers' - also written by Wolfwinkle. Additional merchandise, such as tea towels and calendars, has also been created. 

Initially, the drawings were marketed at the joke price of £299. Later on, that became Wolfwinkle's original fundraising target. Now, "he has ambitions to reach £75,000, and has publicly vowed to get his first tattoo - his signature on his buttocks - on reaching that goal."

Wolfwinkle told BBC: "This whole thing is absolutely brilliant. To be honest it still doesn't feel real. I remember being sat on the sofa with my wife, laughing that we would never reach £299, and now we're here. I'd love to do this forever, it's just working out how we keep it going because I've basically created a second full-time job for myself. The money and publicity for Turning Tides has been phenomenal."

Turning Tides is the homeless organization to which Wolfwinkle has been giving all the raised money, and Wolfwinkle said he was "overwhelmed" by the amount raised for them. Sometime in May, a book with some of Wolfwinkle's work will be published, with part of the profits being donated to Turning Tides as well. 

There are no direct payments for the portraits. Anyone can donate to the cause to Wolfwinkle's JustGiving page, sending him a picture to draw. People wanted to send Wolfwinkle money, but he told BCC previously that he didn't want to take the money because "the pictures are rubbish." Check out some of his drawings below, and for more fun, poorly drawn animals, click right here!

story of rubbish pet portraits raising money for charity thumbnail includes a picture of a cat and a poorly drawn portrait of the same cat
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Homeless Man Rescues All Animals From A Burning Shelter

"[w]e definitely have angels among us," say the people at W-Underdogs in a Facebook post whose animal shelter caught fire while they were picking up supply donations. A situation that could have ended in the worst way possible ended incredibly positively, and that is because of a heroic 53-year-old homeless man named Keith Walker who ran into the smoking building and saved each and every one of the animals inside. 

Walker has been homeless ever since he was 13 years old. He had already known the founder of the shelter, Gracie Hamlin, who had let him keep his dog, a pitbull named Bravo, at the shelter every night. On his way to pick up Bravo from the shelter, Walker saw the fire and ran in, rescuing all of the animals in the shelter - 6 dogs and 10 cats.

"I was nervous as hell, I'm not going to lie. I was really scared to go in there with all that smoke. But God put me there to save those animals," Walker told in a statement to CNN. "If you love a dog, you can love anyone in the world. My dog is my best friend, and I wouldn't be here without him, so I knew I had to save all those other dogs."

Sadly, the W-Underdogs headquarters is now uninhabitable, but in another lucky turn, the shelter was just preparing to move to a different location. As they say in another Facebook post: "As fate would have it, today is the first day of our lease of a new facility we planned to be the new W-Underdogs Headquarters. While the new facility is not exactly 'move-in ready' we were able to move the animals safely into the new facility for the night. They are all happy, warm, safe, and comfortable in their new temporary home."

Hamlin told CNN: "He is my guardian angel. Even the firefighters didn't want to handle the dogs. They called animal control, but Keith was already in the building pulling out the cats and dogs until they were all safe." 

We are so, so thankful to Keith Walker and all the people who helped with the rescue and the moving of the animals, and we hope the cats an the dogs will have an easy time getting used to the new place. Good luck in the new year, guys! 

For more happy ending animal stories, click right here!

story about a homeless man running into a burning animal shelter and rescuing all of the animals inside it thumbnail includes two pictures of a black homeless man with two rescued dogs
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This Crowdfunding Campaign Raises Money To Provide Veterinary Services For Dogs Of Homeless People

MyStetho, the Swiss-based online veterinary service founded in 2019, has recently announced the launch of its crowdfunding campaign for the dogs of homeless people in Geneva. This initiative is focused on providing these pets with access to vaccines and consultations for sick and injured dogs. The campaign will pay for pet owners in need to access online veterinary advice, medicine, medical equipment, and dog food to ensure these animals have a better quality of life. Big like from us! 


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8-Month-Old Pup Drags Her New Blanket Over To A Cold Homeless Dog So They Could Share It

Dogs have the biggest hearts and we're not worthy of them! We hope everyone can learn something from this pup and her pure heart of generosity and love. 

dogs sharing heartwarming cold homeless beautiful - 8126725
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In this episode of the comedy short series, "Aaron's Animals," by Los Angeles-based VFX artist Aaron Benitez, Prince Michael, the cat, wants to help out a hungry homless cat, but learns fast cash never comes easy.





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"The Firmest Friend" is a really touching, award-winning documentary about forgotten homeless youths in New York City and the incredibly unique bond they share with their pit bulls, a breed that is often demonized as being vicious. Filmmaker Andrew Fixell sensed a real kinship between misunderstood humans and misunderstood dogs and wanted to share it as far and wide as he could. Via: Laughing Squid

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These Two Women Are Saving Dogs Using Applied... Economics!?

At an early age of 17 years old, Christine L. Exley saved the life of her"wiggly-butt Pit Bull", Pepper. How? Well...while volunteering at a local shelter, she learned that if no one would adopt Pepper soon, she will have to be put down. So Christine did the only thing she could think of, since she was only 17 and couldn't legally adopt Pepper...


a picture of three dogs running freely in green grass - cover for a story about two women using economic algorithms to find dogs forever home.
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House Inspector Finds a Grumpy Floof in Desperate Need of a Home

Paul Tateosian was just doing his job one day when this golden ball of fluff walked up to him, begging for pets. The house Paul was inspecting had been vacant for awhile, so he knew he had to take this little guy home. Paul, if you're reading this, please name your new cat "Ron Swanson". It's what the internet wants.

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