Adopt A Shelter Dog Month

BearavatarNo offense to all the other months of the year, but October might be our favorite. Why, you ask? It’s not the change in season nor the crisp, colorful leaves that accompany it. It’s not the delightful act of pulling a much loved scarf out from its summer hibernation. It’s not even the Pumpkin Spice Lattes (though those ARE wonderful). We’re all about the dogs.

October is National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, and since HeARTs Speak was inspired by an unassuming pit bull named Iggy, it’s not a stretch to say we welcome the month the way a 6-year-old welcomes Christmas morning. (more…)

Artist Grant Recipient: Diana Bunch

BunchAvatarHeARTs Speak member, Diana Bunch, knows how to get creative on behalf of the animals in her community. Along with her weekly on-location photo shoots, Diana also invites adoptable pets to her studio for shoots, donates prints for fundraisers, and creates image clings, t-shirts, and posters for the shelters she volunteers with.

We’re delighted to announce Diana as the August recipient of the HeARTs Speak ‘Helping. Artists’ grant. Thanks to the generous support of people and organizations that share our passion for animals, HeARTs Speak is able to provide member artists with the resources and tools they need to prioritize their work in the animal welfare community. (more…)

Sheltered: Art Benefit for Animals At Risk

shelteredavatarHearts Speak member Charlene Logan Burnett is the founder and organizer behind Sheltered, a nationally curated art exhibit, which seeks to raise awareness of the staggering number of homeless animals who will never find shelter.

The show opens at Davis Arts Center, Davis, CA with a reception on Friday, October 10, 2014. The exhibit runs five weeks and closes with a silent auction on November 14. Over 50 artists, selected by curator Ryann Casey, will donate a portion of sales to beneficiaries of the exhibit: Alley Cat Allies4 R Friends, and Mow Wow Animals. (more…)

Top 10: September 2014

top10HeARTs Speak artists cover a lot of ground. We’re home to over 500 members in 43 states and 13 countries, and that equates to a whole lot of professionally photographed, painted, sculpted, and illustrated adoptable pets. It’s also a highly respectable number of perfectly crafted bios, countless fundraising items, and a plethora of happy stories.

As vital as social media is to promoting the HeARTs Speak mission, we can only share so much of our members wonderful work. Our monthly ‘Top 10’ features serve to spotlight even more of the wonderful animals our members have met throughout the month, and the work they’ve created on their behalf.  (more…)

Tips for Photographing Black Animals

Untitled-2There’s nothing wrong with working what your mama gave you. In fact, here at HeARTs Speak, we encourage it of our furry and feathery subjects! Alas, despite their best modeling efforts, this task presents some challenges for animals of the raven-coated persuasion.

It’s a trend we’re all aware of: black animals just don’t generate as much interest from potential adopters. There are many theories on why this is. Is it due to the fact that there are just more black pets in general? (more…)

Artist Grant Recipient: Valerie Bruder

_MG_4618A devoted HeARTs Speak member since October 2012, Valerie Bruder is also a tireless advocate for the homeless pets in her community. We’re delighted to introduce her as our June ‘Helping. Artists.’ grant recipient!

The list of animal welfare organizations Valerie regularly helps is staggering and includes Camden County Animal Shelter, All They Need is Love Animal Rescue, One Love Animal Rescue, Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue, New Jersey Aid for Animals, and Lilo’s Promise. She’s provided her professional photography, pro-bono, to a total of 18 groups since becoming a member of HeARTs Speak, and photographs up 20 animals per visit. (more…)

5 Tips for Writing an Effective Pet Bio

junosmallA quality photograph is worth its weight in gold for an adoptable animal, but an effectively written bio to accompany it is the juicy cherry on top.

There’s no denying that words are a powerful vehicle for generating emotional connections; just think of your favorite piece of poetry or famous quote. A few thoughtfully selected words strung carefully together can move a person, or an entire generation, to action. (more…)

Success Story: Mali and Olivia

Olivia

Few things fuel the soul like a happy ending. For those who are close to the day-to-day workings of animal rescue this is especially true. HeARTs Speak artists provide life-changing services to their communities, but sadly those photo shoots, portraits, illustrations, and written words aren’t always punctuated by a family walking off into the sunset with their newest addition. (more…)

Artist Grant Recipient: Sheryl Mann

Untitled-1 (1)For the past 4 years, HeARTs speak member Sheryl Mann, owner of  Flying Dogs Photography, has volunteered her services to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, NC.

During those 4 years, Sheryl has not only photographed countless adoptable animals, but in 2014 created a stunning fine art calendar which raised a whopping $40,000 for Brother Wolf. Sheryl’s ‘Helping. Artists.’ grant has enabled her to embark on a second calendar project, with the goal of compiling a 2015 version as successful as the first.   (more…)

Artist Grant Recipient: John Bouma

Untitled-1Thanks to the generous support of people and organizations that share our passion for animals, HeARTs Speak is able to provide member artists with the resources and tools they need to prioritize their work in the animal welfare community. John Bouma is our fourth featured recipient of the HeARTs Speak ‘Helping. Artists.’ grant.

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Don’t Lose Hope

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HeARTs Speak artists are an exceptional breed. Our tough, seemingly impenetrable exteriors are complimented by soft and unapologetically patient centers. We’re loud and proud about our love and respect for all living things. We celebrate even the tiniest victories, and we hurt deeply when things don’t end happily. We’re altogether smart, focused, forces to be reckoned with, and the nicest people you’ll meet. (more…)

Artist Grant Recipient: Kaye Ness

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Thanks to the generous support of people and organizations that share our passion for animals, HeARTs Speak is able to provide member artists with the resources and tools they need to prioritize their work in the animal welfare community. Kaye Ness is our third featured recipient of the HeARTs Speak ‘Helping. Artists.’ grant.

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Artist Grant Recipient: Theresa Swain

Untitled-1Thanks to the generous support of people and organizations that share our passion for animals, HeARTs Speak is able to provide member artists with the resources and tools they need to prioritize their work in the animal welfare community. Theresa Swain is our second featured recipient of the HeARTs Speak artist grant.

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Welcome, Sarah!

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In February of this year, HeARTs Speak welcomed with open arms, our new President, Sarah Tomolonius. Sarah is dedicated and passionate, and we’re overjoyed to be offering her the seat at our steering wheel. She has been a supporter of HeARTs Speak since it was a seed of an idea, and her steadfast commitment to the ultimate success of our organization is no secret. Having Sarah on our side allows us to continue to power forward with our mission to enact positive change for animals. (more…)

Artist Grant Recipient: Sherry Stinson

Untitled-11Since it’s inception, HeARTs Speak has rested confidently atop a foundation of supreme collaboration, compassion and courage. By nurturing and developing a growing community of like-minded individuals we’ve pushed artistic expression to the forefront of what’s considered beneficial in the fight to help shelter animals.

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Featured Rescue: Good Mews

GoodMews-1Jean Cocteau once said that cats become the visible soul of a home. HeARTs Speak member and photographer, Hannah Michalski, discovered upon her recent visit to Good Mews Animal Foundation that this theory holds true even if the ‘home’ is a temporary one. Hannah is a self-confessed lover of all creatures great and small, but her fascination for the companion-animal kingdom was sparked many years ago by the quirky, curious and undeniably compelling feline.

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In Loving Memory of Jacquie Childers

jacqui-1Dec 22, 1977 − July 5, 2013

Jacquie Childers, web producer and public relations leader, was integral to HeARTs Speak. Her artistic eye is evident throughout our web site. Her technical skills supported our first years of organizational and website growth. She was a tireless advocate for HeARTs Speak, and there were no tasks too large or small for her to handle. She oversaw the migration of the website and databases through multiple upgrades. She was the person who so many of us went to for assistance when we first joined HeARTs Speak. (more…)

Adopt A Shelter-Cat Month

Parsley3cropThe fabulous days of summer are here, full of fun and outdoor activities, but did you know that June is Adopt A Shelter-Cat month? In some shelters, far less cats than dogs find their happily-ever-after, while some might not even be promoted to the public at all. Here at HeARTs Speak, we are lovers of all creatures, great and small, but there is simply no denying the altogether lovely, wild and fantastically eccentric nature of a cat. They’re a companion like no other and exist in a league all their own. (more…)