Animal Report: Ink your body and help an animal

By Elizabeth Biernacki, Staff Reporter

Tattoos for Rescue will be raising money for cats and dogs living in a shelter in Murphysboro, Illinois by offering tattoos and piercings to the public for the third year in a row.

St. Francis CARE Animal Shelter and Artistic Mind Tattoos & Body Piercing have teamed up for the benefit this Friday from noon until 8 p.m.

Artistic Mind Tattoos is a tattoo and piercing shop based in Carbondale that has been open for roughly 11 years, Matthew Stanton, a tattoo artist and shop manager, said.

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St. Francis is a no kill animal shelter based in Murphysboro that takes in roughly 30 animals a month, Gillian Besson, a receptionist at St. Francis, said.

Jessica Piquard, the event coordinator at St. Francis, said the previous event coordinator set up the event.

“She had known [Artistic Mind Tattoos] from the past, and they were more than willing to do it. They’re super excited about the event every year,” Piquard said. “They usually make us roughly $5,000.”

Artistic Mind Tattoos will be donating their time, and 100% of the proceeds to the shelter to help the animals at St. Francis still looking for a forever home, Piquard said.

“We have a price listing that will be posted that day,” Stanton said. “[Tattoos] will be $40, $50 and $60.”

There will be pre-designed tattoos offered, Stanton said. Some offered designs will be themed around animals.

“They’re not gonna be full sleeves by any means, but they’re designed to basically be a 10 minute tattoo,” Stanton said.

There will also be a raffle, Stanton said. Customers will be entered if they donate an unopened package of pet food.

“We usually announce [prizes] on the day of the event,” Stanton said. “In years prior, we’ve announced a free $50 tattoo or ‘x’ amount of dollars off of a larger tattoo, something along those lines.”

In the past couple of years, Piquard said, people have been lined up around the block all day to get a tattoo during this event.

There are four artists and one piercer who will be working the event intermittently throughout the day, Stanton said.

“Between all of us, I think we had each done between 80 and 90 tattoos [in a] day,” Stanton said.

The artists will be working a full eight hour shift with no breaks that day, Stanton said, but it’s all worth it because all of them have a huge passion for animals.

St. Francis is a non-profit organization and runs on donations. The money will directly benefit the cats and dogs including their food, vet expenses and housing, Piquard said.

“We have 126 [animals] right now,” Besson said. “[Our max] is about 125, we are at capacity.”

Stanton said in the last two years that the benefit has been held, Artistic Mind Tattoos has raised a total of $11,000 for the shelter.

Artistic Mind Tattoos, Piquard said, has a goal to raise a total of $10,000 for the shelter this year for a total of $21,000 in three years.

“It just comes back to the fact that we’re all a bunch of burly tattooed men who have soft spots for animals,” Stanton said.

Staff reporter Elizabeth Biernacki can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @EBiernacki_619.

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