Last week, the Humane Society of Stillwater received a unique piece of art that honors the organization and the pets it places in loving homes.
A custom-painted butterfly sculpture decorated with whimsical dogs and cats now stands at the entrance to the Humane Society’s shelter, surrounded by a garden filled with flowering plants designed to attract real butterflies.
Executive Director Jackie Ross-Guerrero said every part of the display was a donation.
The sculpture was purchased for the Humane Society by Robert and Debbie Breedlove of Stillwater. Bandit Mowing and Lawn Care volunteered to create the butterfly garden, using supplies donated by Tractor Supply.
The original design covering the sculpture was created by Humane Society volunteer Huilin Lai.
“She put a lot of love and energy into this,” Ross-Guerrero said in a Facebook Live video of the unveiling. “When we were told that Dr. and Mrs. Breedlove had donated a butterfly for us, this was our first call, was to our friend Lin.”
She says Lai is an accomplished artist who also paints portraits of the animals living in the Humane Society shelter and donates the money that comes from their sale to the Humane Society.
Ross-Guerrero told Lai the butterfly needed to have the Humane Society logo and name on it, but the remainder of the design was up to her.
She says she was shocked and touched to see that Lai had included portraits of Ross-Guerrero’s own two dogs, both former Humane Society residents, on the base of the statue. That gesture was even more special because one of them, Moxie, recently died.
The butterfly statues are designed to represent hope and transformation as part of the Hope Takes Flight project to increase awareness about Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services. Wings of Hope is a non-profit organization that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Payne, Pawnee, Noble, Lincoln and Logan counties.
Organizations and individuals have sponsored more than 60 of the large butterflies and 130 small butterflies throughout Stillwater since they were introduced in 2011. A family in Cushing recently purchased the first large butterfly sculpture in that community.
The large butterflies cost $3,500 and the small versions cost $500. In addition to purchasing a butterfly for the Humane Society, the Breedloves donated butterflies in 2018 for nine Stillwater Public School sites and the district office.
For more information about Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services, go to wingsofhopeok.com. To stay up to date on the butterfly project, follow Hope Takes Flight – A Wings of Hope Project on Facebook. To stay up to date on Humane Society events and view adoptable pets, follow the Humane Society of Stillwater on Facebook.