LATEST UPDATE: Nine days to go! Read more about the new reward level and painting price reduction >>
THE GOAL: Four million dogs and cats are euthanized in U.S. animal shelters each year, according to The Humane Society. This children's picture book, "Garage Cat," explains the importance of adopting animals from shelters by telling kids the story of one homeless cat.
If this project is successful, we will publish "Garage Cat" to increase awareness of homeless animals and to raise money for Chicago animal shelters and rescue organizations.
THE STORY: Luca the cat had to work harder than most animals to find a good home. After becoming lost as a kitten, he learned about surviving on the street, about being cold and hungry and scared. When he finally found his way to an animal shelter (after trying to live in an alley, at a farm, in a zoo, and even with a polar bear), a nice family adopted him.
You can read the rest of Luca's story -- which is still a work in progress -- here.Whether or not you decide to support this project financially, we would love your comments, criticisms and suggestions about the story.
THE REAL LUCA: "Garage Cat" is the imaginary story about a real cat. My husband and I adopted the real Luca from a local shelter about five years ago. He had been found in the shelter's parking lot a few days earlier. Luca came up to a shelter volunteer who later said it seemed like he was asking for help finding a home.
We wondered how Luca made it to that shelter, and wrote the book to answer that question.
THE PROJECT: All the paintings for the book -- more than 20 oils on 24-by-36 inch canvases -- are complete (after about three years of work!)
To test whether the images and story work together, we printed off a few copies of the book using an online service. A Chicago adoption organization used them in a silent auction, raising more than $300 for two copies and two small paintings.
We also read the book to groups of school kids. The book was successful in sparking discussions about where the children's dogs and cats came from and what role shelters play in helping homeless animals.
THE MONEY: With the $4,000 we hope to raise through Kickstarter, we will be able to get hundreds of copies of the book into circulation. We will use some of the money to work with an editor to finalize the text and to hire KarinK Studios to design the book.
The more money we raise, the more copies we can print and distribute. Thank you for your support with this project, which we believe in some small way will help in finding homes for shelter animals.
-- Danielle Gordon
- (35 days)