3 Ways to Plan for a Successful 2017

pet-photography-nicole-begleyIt’s here! It’s here! Turning the page on a new year is one of my most favorite times. No matter what type of year you had in 2016, I hope you are entering the new year with optimism and good intentions. If you had a great 2016, you should be motivated and carry the momentum that you are riding through an even better 2017. If 2016 wasn’t the best year for you, I hope you are looking at the new year as an opportunity to close the door on the past and open the door to new opportunities and happiness. (more…)

Celebrating a Year of Lifesaving!

Across 20 countries, HeARTs Speak artist members are collaborators in creativity with countless animal welfare organizations. They’re providing lifesaving exposure to homeless animals by way of unforgettable portraits, enticing bios, and marketing materials that put shelter pets front and center. United in their efforts, they’re not only helping pets find homes faster, they’re changing the overall perception of pet adoption as an avenue for welcoming new family members. (more…)

4 Successful Giving Tuesday Campaigns to Inspire

avatarEvery year since 2012, a day of dedicated support for the non-profit community has soothed the retail hysteria of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving and the non-profit answer to the post-Thanksgiving consumerism that has gained momentum over recent years. It’s a feel-good exclamation mark for the season and can be an important piece of the developmental equation for animal welfare organizations. (more…)

What We HeART: November



Kindness. It’s at the core of the HeARTs Speak mission. We bow down to it daily in our fight to create a world where all shelter animals have a chance at finding new life and love. We unite artists all across the globe who trust implicitly in its power. We extend it unconditionally and liberally to the animal welfare community and all of the people working within it. It’s our religion and our guiding light, and we know it’ll change the world.


We’re Thankful

102616_stlco_lisa_21It’s that time of year — pumpkin spice has taken control of our lives and we’re prepping to eat ourselves silly with family and friends. For so many of us, this holiday season is tinged with a bit of anxiety about what the future holds. And yet, in between slices of pie and our third helping of vegan stuffing, the staff of HeARTs Speak has some truly amazing things for which we’re thankful.


Creating Change: Taking Action Against BSL

14_082116_camdenpep_09rwThis past week, the passage of breed-specific legislation in Montreal, Canada has rocked the world of animal advocates. Breed-specific legislation, known as BSL, refers to laws that regulate pets solely on the basis of breed or look (not behavior or incident) and is widely accepted as unjust and ineffective. Montreal’s ordinance has the potential to affect thousands of families who would be separated from their pets and puts the lives of many dogs at risk. (more…)

Celebrating Success and Setting Aside Fear

080113_HS_NYCACC_010-2In July, the animal sheltering community celebrated more than 47,000 pet adoptions in just one day when nearly 700 shelters across the United States participated in Clear the Shelters Day! This lifesaving day was sponsored by NBCUniversal and allowed community members, who may not have otherwise known that adoption was an option, to engage with shelters and participate in free or reduced-fee adoptions.


Be Well, Do Good: 6 Simple Self-Care Ideas

Jill_Flynn_dog_3127JFIn our excitement to do as much good as we can for animals, many of us stop taking care of own needs. Lack of interest in our own self-care is both a symptom of and a result of compassion fatigue. But self-sacrifice isn’t sustainable.

Too often, taking care of ourselves gets regulated to the “optional” category: something to do if we have some free time, after our to-do list is all done, and when all the animals are safe, cared for, and don’t need anything else from us. Which is never. (more…)

Tips for Rocking Social Media on a Tight Schedule

blogscoialavatarHands up if your to-do list currently resembles the opening crawl from Return of the Jedi. Somewhere along our evolutionary journey from smoke signals to Snapchat, life got busy. Like, really busy. And let’s be real: sometimes social media can feel like both the cause of and solution to a hectic schedule. Thankfully, knowing where and how to use your time on social media can help make it feel less like a time warp, and more like the magical marketing force it has the potential to be!


A Lifesaving Partnership

They say that life is all about timing, and that’s a concept that most pet owners and nonprofit organizations can agree on! HeARTs Speak was born out of great timing in 2010, when our fearless leader and Executive Director, Lisa Prince Fishler, adopted her best friend, Iggy. Lisa was head over heels in love and was inspired by Iggy’s adoption to get involved in saving lives by creating more adoption moments for animals all over the world.

3 Steps to Finding Your Creative Style

hollyavatarAs a longtime HeARTs Speak member and professional pet photographer, people often ask me about the mysterious and sometimes elusive path to finding and establishing a clear creative style and voice for their work. Often, my initial reaction is “Geez, I have no idea! I am still searching for it myself!”

And then, when I started to really consider it, I realized, “you know, I think I HAVE finally stopped searching!” I think I am now content with the direction I am going, and happily following the flow.

So, how did I get here? Here are a few of the steps I took on my personal creative journey that helped me refine my aesthetic and start producing consistent, cohesive photographs.


2015: A Year of Artist Empowerment

11209731_10153743778304275_8442971957652425655_nSince day one of its inception 5 years ago, HeARTs Speak has been devoted to building a community of professional artists focused on supreme collaboration, compassion, and courage. By nurturing a rapidly expanding network of like-minded individuals, we’ve pushed artistic expression to the forefront of what’s considered beneficial in the fight to save shelter animals. (more…)

One Year of Perfect Exposure

1984At the center of the HeARTs Speak mission lies a simple philosophy: that collaboration is the most effective strategy for improving the lives of companion animals. Our organization unites hundreds of professional artists worldwide who live and work by this philosophy, and in the U.S. alone our members assist over one third of animal welfare groups. As a vehicle for expanding our reach even further and to supplement these artists’ incredible work, we created the Perfect Exposure Project. (more…)

What HeARTs Speak Artists Are Thankful For

11224175_1029493190395482_4374622358696542788_nAs artists of many mediums volunteering our work to animal shelters across the globe, we are exposed to a world that gives us the opportunity to feel thankful every day — for the countless adoptable pets we meet, hardworking shelter staff and volunteers, and a quality paintbrush that just feels ‘right’ in your hand.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, what better time to collect and share all the special things we’re thankful for!


Old n’ Bold: 6 Senior Pets Who Get Friendship

clydeFine wine, fancy cheese, and your favorite jeans are all things that only get better with time, but they’re no match for companion animals when it comes to the art of aging.

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month, a 30-day-long celebration befitting the old souls waiting in shelters for a retirement home of their very own. Here are 5 pets who understand that expert friendship is something you cultivate, refine, and apply liberally.



Perfect Exposure for Kansas City’s Shelter Animals

KCavatarThe Perfect Exposure Project began as a seed of an idea back in 2013. It was planted by the realization that, while the HeARTs Speak community continues to welcome professional artists and photographers around the world with a passion for helping, sharing our collective knowledge can stretch our reach even further.

Serving as a fresh, innovative approach (more…)

Merging Art and Education to Save Lives

JF_KCPEP_3131The wonderful thing about art is that it is limitless. There are no boundaries, no ‘don’t do that’s, and if you’re brave enough and bold enough, even the sky is no ceiling.

HeARTs Speak member artists employ myriad mediums to assist in the positive and powerful promotion of adoptable pets, endangered animals, and any creature big or small who might require a little human creativity and innovation to thrive.