Helping Paws

Artist Sara Abbott X Helping Paws

One of the most joyous things in our busy lives these days is the love of a good dog.  Brighton is known as one of the most dog friendly cities in the country with our pooches having the seafront and also the sweeping countryside of the South Downs to be exercised on and a whole host of dog friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants that cater not only for people but for the canines at their sides too.

For many years animal artists Sara Abbott has had her studio here and has captured the love between man and beast in her stunning oil on canvas works and although she currently has her main studio in Yorkshire, she is still in Brighton once a month to visit clients and deliver finished works.  Unique in the fact that she’ll visit for a gentle photo shoot with her subjects in their own homes in order to capture the perfect image to paint from means she also gets a feel for the character and the relationship with their owners.

But the most important part of her work is the fact that she donates £100 from each formal portrait to dogs in rescue, Sara says – “I couldn’t work at the sharp end of dog rescue, I’d become too emotionally involved but I can help finance those who do.  I work with a different organisation each six months to keep things fresh and focused and have a £2k donation target for each.”

Until the end of the year Sara is working with Brighton based ‘Helping Paws’ and to launch her fund raising with them there is a fun evening planned where one lucky person will win a sketch of their dog. This will be at the Whitecliffs (dog friendly) café in Saltdean. On the night, Sara will be busy at her easel finishing the piece and will also talk a little about her work and about some of the rescues she has helped in the past – none of us will know just who she is painting until the end of the evening when she does the big reveal, turns her easel around and presents the prize to the lucky winner.

Helping Paws was started by Karen Lippitt three years ago and fundraises to help animals wherever they are in the world. As all the “Pawsters” have full time jobs this really is a labour of love and relies heavily on the support of people such as Sara to carry on the essential work.
If you would like to join in tickets are £10 per person including that chance to win a picture of YOUR dog, a glass of wine and a raffle ticket, full details can be found on

You’ll need to send in a good quality photo of your dog so get snapping! Sara will be looking for an image that is clear, well-lit and that captures the essence of your dog.
If you can’t wait till then please visit the charity page of Sara’s website where you will find details of her work with Helping Paws together with examples of her work: