By Leah Conway –
Back in January 2022, the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield & Bradford’s Charity Shop in Hebden Bridge was vandalised.
Shop manager, Charlotte Atkinson, arrived to open the shop for the day, only to be greeted with a shop covered in graffiti.
The selfish act meant that the independent RSPCA branch has to use its funds to cover up the mess, which could have gone to caring for and rehabilitating animals for their cause.
However, with support from shop landlords Clare and Paul Buxton, the RSPCA team came up with an idea to turn a negative into a positive.
The RSPCA shop worked with artist Sara Abbott, well known for her canine and equine portraits, she also donates part of her fee to animal rescues and sanctuaries.
Shop Manager, Charlotte Atkinson, said: ‘’Sara Abbott is a professional, talented artist and a renowned and respected supporter of charities and organisations working on the front line of animal welfare and environmental protection.
“Abbott’s studio is now situated in Hebden Bridge and we were delighted when she accepted our invitation to create a piece of urban art on the outside of our RSPCA shop in central Hebden, at no cost to the charity.’’
“Chuffed and excited”
Sara Abbott reflected, “I’m very chuffed and excited to have been asked to create a new public work for my adopted town, the work will incorporate all the elements I love, our beloved pets, native mammals and birds and whatever else I can squeeze into the space, incorporating them all into a vista inspired by the town and surrounding countryside, a landscape that I’m so inspired by and can’t stop painting!’
The RSPCA’s new piece of artwork also includes Shop Manager Charlotte’s cat Ice and landlords Clare and Paul’s dog Bert.
The charity is encouraging the local community and tourists to take photos and tag the charity on social media to help spread awareness for the animals in the local charity’s care.