Pet-lovers paint for a cause


Pet-owners listen to the instructor at Bottle and Bottega to paint portraits of their pets.

Anika Bhatnagar, Staff Writer

Bottle and Bottega’s “Paint your Pet” event allowed locals to paint portraits of their pets while raising money for the Peninsula Humane Society.

Bottle and Bottega is a paint-and-sip company, meaning they host art parties and teach people to paint step-by-step. The company is owned by Dale and Laura Ah Tye.

Their Belmont location was filled with canvases, paints, painting instructors and eager painters/pet-owners on Saturday, March 2 when around 50 people arrived with photos of their furry friends. With the entrance fee of $40, they planned donate 25 percent of the proceeds to the humane society.

This is the second “Paint your Pet” event Bottle and Bottega has done with PHS. While the first one took place at the shelter, the company now has their own studio and is taking on part two in Belmont. Ah Tye created this event to join the company with her love for pets and her desire to give back to them.

“It’s a super fun event because people love their pets, so (the portrait is) something they’ll have forever. It’s more special than having an artist paint your pet because these people are painting it by hand themselves and there’s a sense of pride and accomplishment,” Laura Ah Tye said.

PHS is the largest animal shelter in San Mateo County. They take in 3400 dogs and cats each year. Including the animals in the wildlife rehabilitation facility, 6000 animals are taken in on average.

Ah Tye said, “We try to partner with different places that help animals in need. That’s part of our charter and just something we want to do as well.”

Specifically, this event was helping to fund PHS’s Hope Program. It is a program that helps animals that are particularly in need with severe medical and behavior problems. Those are their “above and beyond funds.”

“Just recently we had a cat brought into us who was having seizures, in a coma state, and she was young. We were not sure why she was in this state but the vets really took a shine to her and she was able to be treated and she came out of her coma. These lives are what the hope program is for,” Lauren Schneider, a pet owner, said.

Priscila Smith, a participant, joined the class with pictures of her Pitbull mix, Misty. She was excited to support the cause while showing love for her pet.

“I always wanted to support PHS and I think that this is going to be a fun event and I’ve never done this before,” said Smith.

Ah Tye says she hopes to be able to continue with more “Paint your Pet” events in the future to raise even more for PHS. The event was an exciting and creative way to raise money for a great cause.

“It’s a little different than your average painting,” said Schneider.