HeARTs Speak is a global community of photographers, writers, graphic designers, sculptors, painters, illustrators, shelter staff, rescue volunteers, and animal advocates working together to ensure that no shelter animal goes unseen.

HeARTs Speak’s artist members, more than 600 strong across the globe, provide their time and professional services pro bono to animal welfare organizations in their communities and work to improve the image of all shelter pets.

At last count, these hard-working artists were working in approximately 1/3 of U.S. shelters and contributing more than 15,000 hours of service monthly throughout the world —that’s more than 32,000 animals receiving professional portraits each month!

Mission & Vision

  • HeART’s Speak’s Mission is to unite art and advocacy to increase the visibility of shelter animals.
  • The Vision of HeARTs Speak is a global community that treats all animals and people with compassion and respect.


Currently, HeARTs Speak focuses its efforts in three major programmatic areas:

1) The Perfect Exposure Project, which increases the creative workforce in animal sheltering by bringing a custom two-day workshop on photography and marketing to humane facilities. Since its inception in 2014, more than 200 animal welfare staff and volunteers have learned skills that have the potential to impact more than 100,00 animals each year. By the end of 2016 expect to have delivered this program to over 15 communities in the United States.

2) Images with HeART is a multi-faceted stock imagery project merging the promotion of pet adoption with a sustainable and ethical platform for artists to license their work. Many of the pets found in our galleries were once awaiting adoption in shelters across the world, and every license supports the lifesaving work of a shelter pet photographer. From a consumer standpoint, Images with HeART provides businesses, individuals, and animal welfare organizations with an ethical option when purchasing stock photography.

3) Artists Helping Animals is the core program that started it all! Through HeARTs Speak’s artist membership, professional photographers, writers, designers and artists of all mediums offer pro-bono professional services and donated work to animal shelters throughout the world. This program seeks to transform the image of shelter pets and ultimately contribute to the good work of animal welfare organizations, resulting in more adoptions and more lives saved.

Guiding Principles

HeARTs Speak relies on a system of core beliefs to guide us in pursuit of our mission. These include:

  • Work Together
  • Be Kind
  • Embrace Humility
  • Share Success
  • Be Considerate