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WEST JORDAN — A West Jordan man is turning his hobby into hope, all an effort to keep his 5 1/2-year-old boxer Charlie alive.
Shaun Mitchell’s paintings are now making rounds across the globe — something he never anticipated: “New Zealand, Australia, New Finland… I’ve just been amazed and overwhelmed by it,” Mitchell said.
He doesn’t consider himself an artist, only a self-taught painter. Although his works of art now are being enjoyed by hundreds of people, Paints for Charlie began with some devastating news. The vet told Mitchell 10 months ago Charlie had cancer: “You've got to be kidding me; there's no way,” Mitchell said.
On Feb. 6, in an effort to help supplement some of the costs for Charlie’s cancer treatments, Mitchell put up a flier at a local store in West Jordan soliciting his artistic talents to the public for a $40 fee. His wife, Tasha Mitchell, also posted the flier on social media.
“Over the weekend it went up to like almost 200 people sending in emails going, 'how do we get paintings?’ we want to do this, we want to help Charlie,” Mitchell said.
The money earned by the sale of the pet portraits will go toward Charlie’s experimental treatment. The trial-based treatment requires Mitchell and his wife to drive Charlie to Las Vegas once a week.
One brush stroke at a time, every day since putting out the fliers Mitchell has been painting: “I'll be painting 166 days straight three paintings a day,” he said.
Along the way, he’s gathered an email inbox full of stories about other animals and pet owners all willing to help another pet in need.
“They want to help Charlie," He said. "I could never ask for anything better."