SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Alvin and the Chipmunks have their singing, and squirrels at the Salem Wildlife Rescue are unlocking their inner Michelangelo, creating works of art that are sold to fundraise for the animal rescue effort.
Jess Reese told WBZ's Carl Stevens she created SWR because she has always loved animals, and when her favorite squirrel, named 'Little Man,' was faced with hardship, an idea came to her.
"He was going to be euthanized— and I wanted to memorialize him with little paw prints on an inkless ink pad," Reese said.
After posting some of the artwork to SWR's Facebook page, many inquired about receiving some abstract squirrel art of their own.
"People commented saying I should sell this, use this to raise money for the rescue," Reese said.
Soon, Reese put up twelve 3 by 5-inch cards up for auction, which sold out within a couple hours and raised more than $300 for the registered charity. According to the SWR's Facebook page, the material used was safe and mess-free, and pieces were made by Little Man and baby squirrels in a separate litter.
"I just put the pad in ready-to-go, throw it in their cage, throw in treats, and let them run all over it— let them scratch at it," Reese said.
The money goes directly to the SWR, which prioritizes rehabilitation of orphaned or sick animals to get them back out into the wild. Reese says she's open to doing another squirrel-made art auction again in the future. In case you missed out on the first auction and want to help the cause, the SWR also has a Patreon page where donations can be made.
WBZ's Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) reports.