Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Art From the Heart

A mission to empty pet shelters everywhere



Lisa Prince Fishler is an artist and self-described “animal person.” When she learned that a disproportionate number of pit bull dogs were being euthanized because they were perceived as dangerous, “it woke up the advocate” in her. “I wanted to do something on their behalf,” she says.

Prince Fishler volunteered at a pit bull rescue organization and found that she enjoyed taking adoption photos of the animals to be posted online. “I’d portray them the way I saw them–– not as vicious, but as loving, smart, funny dogs.” The photographs immediately brought about an uptick in adoptions. Prince Fishler then saw a heart-wrenching video about euthanizing in high-intake shelters. “Tears were streaming down my face and I thought, What can be done? I realized that if we could increase the number of people who bring a shelter animal into their home by 3 percent each year, the number of animals taken to shelters could be reduced to zero.”

And so HeARTs Speak was born. The organization registers and matches professional photographers with animal shelters in their area. The photographers regularly donate time to take portraits. Creative styling, having them play with a ball or a toy, or showing the animal engage with someone off camera, all work toward creating an evocative portrait which will help the animal find a home. 

Currently HeARTs Speak has members in approximately 25% of the 13,300 shelters in the U.S.. The group provides an astounding 31,500 portraits each month. “But that only accounts for 25 percent of the shelters,” says Prince Fishler, downplaying her extraordinary accomplishment. “I want to help the other 75 percent, too.”

HeARTs Speak’s goal is to expand their Perfect Exposure Project (PEP) to shelters across the country. PEP offers financial support to shelters and teaches their staff techniques to help get their animals adopted through writing appealing bios, taking great photos, and marketing through social media. 

When asked what’s most rewarding about what she does, Prince Fishler doesn’t hesitate. “Helping the shelter workers,” she replies. “They get compassion fatigue because they see so much sadness. Teaching the PEP workshops allows us to create the space for employees to get a much-needed break and have some fun.” She explains that by empowering shelter staff to make a tangible difference in the future of the animals they care for, they begin to feel happier and that they can really effect change. “After we leave, the difference is almost immediately evident: There’s more positivity in the language, the photos improve dramatically, and the adoption rates go way up.”


Take Perfect Pet Pictures

  • Get On Their Level: Lie down on the floor to capture details you wouldn’t notice from higher up 
  • Surprise Them: Let your pet relax and play quietly, and then have someone call them. Click. 
  • Patience Is a Virtue: Allow them to relax, and soon you’ll capture the perfect picture
  • Blur It: To put more focus on any critter, have them a few feet away from their background 
  • Candid Camera: Is your lazy cat yawning or your dog begging to play? That’s a great shot.

 

 


For adoption:

CHILI - Karen Killeen-Macias of Winterbabies Photography (winterbabiesphotography.com) arrived at Community Cats
(communitycats.com), a rescue shelter in Bedford in search of a cat to photograph and was chosen by Chili, “friendly and affectionate, walking up to me right away,” she recalls. “He was curious about my camera and happy to sit patiently for me while I photographed him. When I left, he followed me out to the door. He would make a wonderful companion.”

HUDSON -  Jim Dratfield of Petography (petography.com) zoomed in on Hudson, a four-year-old Belgian/ Tervuren mix rescued by A New Chance Animal Rescue (anewchancear.org) in Bedford. He is a smart, affectionate, fully trained pooch who would love a home with a large, fenced yard. “My hope was to capture both Hudson’s dignity and his whimsy,” Dratfield says  “Hudson was doggone great to work with!”

THE DUMPLINGS - Linda Kuo of Kuo Photo (kuophoto.com) was captivated by The Dumplings, a pair of sheep whom she found bearish and adorable on her visit to Magnolia Run Farm & Animal Rescue (magnoliarun.org) in Bedford. “They love to graze and nibble in the pasture and will eat out of your hand,” she notes. Both neutered males, “each has his own unique personality, but they are attached to one another. They are sometimes clownish, sticking their heads together into a feed bucket to get to the goods. I wanted to capture their connection to each other.”

GRACIE & FLOSSIE - Jamie Kilgore of Jamie Kilgore Photography (jamiekilgorephotography.com) was immediately drawn to Gracie and Flossie, a mother/daughter duo from A New Chance Animal Rescue (anewchancear.org) in Bedford. “I witnessed a very special bond between them and know they would thrive in an environment that would welcome them as a team. They were inseparable the entire time I was shooting,” says Kilgore. “In this portrait, I captured that bond—the love and closeness of these two sweet, adorable dogs!”

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

             

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Bedford Shout Outs - September/October

This, that, and the other things

Cliff Hanger

Glenn Close finds comfort on the edge

Show Stoppers

Fashion spotlight on local non-profits

A Renewed Focus

The Bedford Post's two restaurants merge local farms with fine dining

Maine Squeeze

Breathing new life into a mid-century split-level home

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

September 2018

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week course The Soul Ajar: An Emily Dickinson Literature Course.  The classes...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

This presentation, led by Martin House member Bryan Stern, will help small business owners understand key tax law changes that may affect their 2018 business tax returns so that they can plan ahead...

Cost: Free

Where:
Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On Thursday, September 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich will host its first-ever Oktoberfest celebration. Featuring German beer from Paulaner USA, Oktoberfest at the Bruce...

Cost: $30 for Bruce Museum members, $40 non-members

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Hospice of Westchester (HOW) will host its annual “In Celebration” Gala Cocktail Reception on Thursday, September 27, 2018. This year’s event will honor Joan and Michael...

Cost: $300

Where:
Westchester Country Club
99 Biltmore Avenue
Rye, NY  10580
View map »


Sponsor: Hospice of Westchester
Telephone: 914-682-1484
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. Free, no registration. Open to adults and older teens. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies in, but some basic supplies will be provided by the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Something special is scheduled to happen at Conant Hall, 257 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY 10576, on Friday September 28 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM and Saturday September 29, 2018 from 11:00 AM to...

Cost: free

Where:
Conant Hall
257 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Garden Club
Telephone: 914-64-3074
Contact Name: Peggy Kerner
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kykuit, a hilltop paradise, is now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family. Read our review of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Kykuit
381 N. Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY  10591
View map »


Website »

More information

Something special is scheduled to happen at Conant Hall, 257 Westchester Avenue, Pound Ridge, NY 10576, on Friday September 28 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM and Saturday September 29, 2018 from 11:00 AM to...

Cost: free

Where:
Conant Hall
257 Westchester Ave.
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Garden Club
Telephone: 914-64-3074
Contact Name: Peggy Kerner
Website »

More information

Laura from Olive My Skin will be joining us to talk about her lovely natural soaps, wood wick soy candles and skin care line, all proudly made in Connecticut. All Fair Trade, paraben free,...

Cost: free

Where:
The Smithy
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: The Smithy
Telephone: (860)868-9003
Contact Name: susan
Website »

More information

The 57th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show is September 29-30  10am-5-pm, Rain or Shine Newly Ranked #2 Best Fine Art and Design Show in the Country! (Sunshine Artist, 8/2018) 185...

Cost: $12 General, $10 Seniors, 18 and under: Free

Where:
Community Park
205 Business Park Drive
Armonk, NY  10504
View map »


Sponsor: Friends of NCPL
Telephone: 914-629-7529
Contact Name: Anne Curran
Website »

More information

Looking for a new lampshade? Interested in a free office supplies? How about a Lego set? It's all here for the taking at Bedford 2020's Take It Or Leave It Shed! If the thought of more...

Cost: 0

Where:
Take it or Leave it Shed
Bedford Hills Train Station Parking Lot
Bedford Hills, NY
View map »


Sponsor: Energize Bedford
Website »

More information

Evocation of light is ever present in the romantic and experiential landscapes of Ira Barkoff. His recent works convey the spontaneity and the maturity of the artist’s hand and dedication to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags