PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — When Brad Robertson of Mechanicsburg was first asked to paint a shelter dog, he knew he had the time but wasn’t sure he had the talent.

“I wasn’t even sure I could paint a dog,” he said. “I painted one of my dogs, Stella…posted it on Facebook and within the first couple hours, I had hits left and right with people asking me to paint their dogs. So I thought, you know what, maybe I can do this.”

Robertson then joined Cheddar Paws Dog Art, a group of 10 local artists that highlights shelter dogs in need of homes by putting their furry little faces on canvas.

Karen Spidle is the group’s co-creator. “We have painted 240 dogs to date,” Spidle said. “Fifty-one of them still remain unadopted.”

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The group’s work has raised awareness for hundreds of dogs by hanging them in local businesses. Whoever adopts the dog gets the forever friend and the fine art.

“They’re thrilled,” Spidle said. “They’re like, ‘Can we pay you for this?’ And we don’t handle any money. This is all free of charge to help dogs find homes.”

The artists work off of photos of the dogs from local shelters like the Humane Society of Lebanon County.

“We often find ourselves getting calls for surrenders three times a day,” said Danielle Hackman of the Humane Society of Lebanon County.

Hackman said shelters right now are overworked, overcrowded, and extremely grateful for each brushstroke that helps their cause.

“Rescues right now are struggling in general,” she said. “Adoptions are low. Fosters are low. We’re struggling to place dogs and we have so many on our waiting list. It’s so important they paint our dogs to raise awareness.”

Brad went from painting landscapes to painting pooches. It’s now his passion because with every hue he chooses, he offers hope.

“If my painting is what gets a dog adopted, that’s the greatest joy,” he said. “It’s worth more than any money I could get for a painting.”

To learn more about Cheddar Paws Dog Art, click here.

To learn more about Mars, the dog Robertston was painting for this story, click here.