Young Philanthropist Creates NFTs to Benefit Animals in Need

Photos in Dropbox
TikTok videos of Leo creating

Sale of Leo DiCosola's NFT artwork will help feed and care for animals in need at The Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago

For the first time in its 123-year-old history, The Anti-Cruelty Society and its animals are poised to benefit from the sale of NFTs, non-fungible tokens. Young philanthropist Leo DiCosola has created 15 NFTs of his adopted dog and wants some of the proceeds to help animals in need around the Chicago area. Investopedia’ defines NFTS as “cryptographic assets on a blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other.” Leo’s NFTs are available for bidding now until February 5.

At seven-years-old, Leo is used to doing tasks around the house to raise money for electronics and other items he wants to purchase. But when this second-grader asked his dad Dave if he could make money by selling artwork of their adopted dog Naiya, Dave suggested selling the designs as NFTs. After a brief explanation on blockchains and cryptocurrency, Leo was all in! Excited for the opportunity to make some money, Leo decided that he would like to share his profits to help animals in need at The Anti-Cruelty Society.

Leo designed 15 non-fungible tokens that are available to bid on and has pledged to donate half the proceeds to The Anti-Cruelty Society. Leo designed the artwork in Canva, a digital art design program. Using his adopted brown pup as his muse, he created artwork with bright colors and added fun elements to each design such as sunglasses, a basketball, and a sleep mask.

"As parents, we're trying to teach the important lesson that giving and getting go hand in hand. Not only will this help an amazing organization—The Anti-Cruelty Society, but Leo’s project can also serve as an inspiration to a new generation of philanthropists and artists,” said Dave DiCosola.

The Collins Dictionary declared NFT 2021’s word of the year and defined it as an abbreviation for a non-fungible token, “a unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible.”

“We’re thrilled that Leo has decided to support The Anti-Cruelty Society’s animals with this new artistic and technology venture,” said Jennifer GoodSmith, Vice President of Mission Advancement Chief for The Anti-Cruelty Society. “Our donors are getting younger and younger, and Leo is an excellent example of compassion in action with his dedication to helping homeless animals in our community.”

To learn more about Leo, NFTs, and then bid on 15 pieces of his artwork until February 5, visit or

About The Anti-Cruelty Society
Founded in 1899, The Anti-Cruelty Society is Chicago’s oldest and largest, private, open-admission, unlimited stay humane society. With a mission of building a happy and healthy community where pets and people thrive together, its comprehensive programs and services help over 50,000 animals and humans every year and include adoption, charity veterinary clinic, low or no-cost spay/neuter clinic, cruelty investigations and rescue, humane education & community outreach, free behavior helpline, the Bruckner Rehabilitation & Treatment Center, the Virginia Butts Berger Cat Clinic and the Dog Rehabilitation Center. The Anti-Cruelty Society provides community support to keep people and their pets together through safety net services such as the pop-up pet food pantry program, wellness fairs, emergency pet boarding, senior citizen pet owner support and community education programs. Its vision is to build a more humane Chicago for pets and people. For more information, visit