Pet portraits to help Humane Society

A new fundraising effort on behalf of the Cayman Islands Humane Society offers something special. 

Internationally known artist Robert Clarke will donate 20 percent of the cost of a commissioned portrait of your cat or dog to the local Humane Society.  

The price of a commissioned work starts at approximately US$4,000 for a 12-inch-square portrait. 

Clarke is also donating a 16-inch-square portrait to be auctioned at a gala on June 27 in aid of the Humane Society. 

Clarke has many celebrity clients, having painted portraits of model Kate Moss’s dog Archie, comedian Alan Carr’s Bev and Joyce, Vogue fashion photographer Tim Walker’s Stig, Fergie’s (Black Eyed Peas) Meatloaf, and British designers Bruce Oldfield’s ridgeback Babe and Cath Kidston’s Sealyham Terrier Billie.  

In 2010 and 2011 he showed his “A to Z of Dogs” – a collection of prints at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London and New York.  

“My English version of ‘A to Z dogs’ features the bigger dogs and breeds associated with the U.K.,” said Clarke. “The New York ‘A-Z’ includes the smaller dogs: chihuahuas, Bostons [terriers] and pugs, which are more custom-drawn to suit the New York area.”  

Clarke recently relocated from London to the U.S. and currently lives in a warehouse live/work space in Red Hook, N.Y. so he can paint as soon as he wakes up.  

He uses acrylics and then a varnish finish, making the paintings very glossy and creating an old-fashioned traditional look.  

Depending on the client, Clarke will travel to see the pet, but he can paint the portrait from a hi-res in-focus headshot.  

Cayman Islands Humane Society 

The Humane Society, which was established more than 40 years ago, depends on donations and fundraising ideas to keep it running. 

“It costs the Humane Society US$500,000 per annum to run the shelter and provide all the services we do,” said director Lesley Walker. “Our vet bills alone are $10,000 per month, then we have to pay for staff, food and all the regular costs of a property: electricity, water, and insurance. 

“Many of the animals surrendered to the shelter have medical problems which their owners are unable or unwilling to take on,” she said. “We accept animals with severe mange, ringworm, blindness due to untreated eye problems, and broken limbs resulting from car accidents. Some of the animals brought in are in appalling condition … We take them all because that is our role.”  

She noted that there are many worthy charities in Cayman, and the Humane Society has to compete with them for limited resources.  

“Many of the large corporate sponsors will not consider animal charities at all,” she said. “We depend largely on personal donors. Right now, we find ourselves in a very difficult financial position. We believe it would be a huge loss to Cayman if the only shelter were to close and the only option for stray, unwanted and abandoned animals was the government pound. 

“This would be a tragedy not just for the animals, but for Cayman’s standing as a caring and civilized community,” Walker added. “People don’t want to visit countries where there are emaciated, stray dogs and cats roaming in large numbers. It is too upsetting for them, and the same applies for people who come here to work.” 

The Humane Society receives a contribution from government of approximately CI$18,000 per year. Other money is raised through the shelter’s Thrift Shop, Book Loft and the adoption and spay/neuter fees, but the balance is raised through fundraisers and donations. 

Ways to help 

Become a regular donor. Even small amounts made monthly will help. 

Support the Book Loft and Thrift Shop. 

Donate through your bank by logging in and selecting Cayman Islands Humane Society as the payee/beneficiary in your Bank of Butterfield (USD) or Cayman National Bank (KYD) accounts. 

Make a donation through Cayman Gift Certificates (; 100 percent of the money is credited as a donation.  

Call the shelter and donate by credit card. Call 949-1461. 

There is a Quiz Night at Fidel Murphys on the third Wednesday of every month with guest quizmasters, and they are always in need of prizes. It is $10 per person for teams of six maximum. All proceeds go toward transferring dogs to new homes in the U.S. Call 949-5189 or email [email protected] to reserve a table. 

On May 23, the Petapoolza music festival at Royal Palms will feature bands who donate their services from 2 p.m. until midnight. Entry is $10; sponsorship deals are available. 

Buy tickets for the gala on Saturday, June 27, from 7 p.m. onwards at 22 Kosta Boda Close. 

There is capacity for 150 at $125 per ticket which includes food, drink and entertainment. 

To commission a portrait of your pet, email [email protected] bank drafts may be made payable to the Cayman Islands Humane Society and airmailed to P.O. Box 1167, Grand Cayman, KY1-1102 Cayman Islands. 







Fancy: Portraits by Robert Clarke