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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.

 

 


Available for adoption:

ADOPTED - FINLEY - Louis Wallach (wallachphotography.com) visited the Morris home in Ridgefield after the family welcomed Finley, a Belgian shepherd mix, who A New Chance Animal Rescue (anewchancear.org) in Bedford Hills had rescued from the Humane Society in South Carolina. He had been pulled from a kill shelter this summer. Finley’s new brother Cooper, a four-year-old Great Pyrenees mix, came from a shelter in Tennessee. “Finley was very calm,” says Wallach while photographing him. “Of course, treats help.” 

ADOPTED - BAGEL (Beagle) Photographed by Andrea Topalian (momentsbyandrea.com)
I call this portrait “My New Best Friend” because you can see what a great buddy Bagel would make. My daughter was totally smitten with him. There are so many beautiful, loving, and deserving animals that need homes–even purebreds like this beautiful beagle. We currently have six rescue animals in our home and love them all.  I hope someone takes Bagel home.
(To adopt: roar-ridgefield.org)

ADOPTED - JANET (Australian Heeler)  Photographed by Jane Beiles (janebeiles.com)
When Jane met Janet at the Roar Animal Shelter in Ridgefiedl she was captivated. “Eyes are the mirror to her soul. Janet has such beautiful eyes. I can just imagine her curling up with her new owner as the perfect loyal companion. This was a really fun and worthy project. My kids had a ball and it’s a miracle Janet didn’t come home with us! I know she’ll be a great addition to another family so I hope that someone decides to adopt this lovely girl.”
(To adopt: roar-ridgefield.org)

ADOPTED - EDWARD Photographed by Nina Pomeroy (ninapomeroy.com)
“I really loved young Edward. According to Katherine Reid, Director of Wilton’s Animals in Distress, Edward was abandoned by his owners and spent his first year living on the streets. He would be great in an active home where he would have lots of play time and snuggle time. This orange tabby has beautiful light green eyes and was friendly and affectionate. If I didn’t already have a cat at home I would definitely adopt him. He would make a wonderful companion.”
(To adopt: animalsindistress.org)

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November 2017

Come create new memories in a magical setting of over 100 holiday trees, elves and pixie dust. Enjoy shopping, live entertainment, raffle prizes and more! Featuring special kids events:...

Cost: Admission: Adults: $10 • Children & Seniors: $5• Kids under 5: Free

Where:
Crowne Plaza Hotel
18 Old Ridgebury Road
EXIT 2, I-84
Danbury, CT  06810
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Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 1-866-907-2314
Contact Name: Jack Bouffard
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Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
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Giant Helium Balloon Parade Spectacular presented by Stamford Advocate/Hearst Connecticut Media Group The parade is one of the largest helium balloon parades in the country, featuring...

Where:
Summer to Broad to Atlantic Streets
Stamford, CT


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​Join Music from Copland House as they explore the sounds of exile – music in World War II-era Los Angeles, with works by 1956 Pulitzer Prize-winner Ernst Toch, film...

Cost: $25, $20 (Friends), $10 (Students)

Where:
Copland House at Merestead
455 Byram Lake Road
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Sponsor: Copland House
Telephone: 914-788-4659
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The WCSU Wind Ensemble, conducted by Fernando Jimenez, will perform Sunday, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m. in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the...

Cost: $6.00

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave Extension
Danbury, CT  06810
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6pm Gala (for sponsors and Gala ticket holders) | 8pm Live Auction & Performance Pepsi Rock Series powered by xfinity Gala Award Honorees: Anita and Nick Donofrio...

Cost: Tickets: Tickets for the show only: $185 • Tickets for Gala and show: $250

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Road
Ridgefield , CT  06877
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The Department of Theatre Arts will present "EVITA" in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury....

Cost: $25

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
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SEE LOUNSBURY HOUSE TRANSFORMED INTO A CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND! Tickets are on sale now for the 18th Biennial Tree Festival and Unique Holiday Boutique. November 17 – 19 Friday 10:00AM...

Where:
Lounsbury House
316 Main Street
, CT
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Telephone: 203-438-6962
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Sodexo will host a Thanksgiving Dinner from 4 to 8:30 p.m. in the Student Center Restaurant on the university's Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Students can use a meal swipe and...

Cost: $9.75

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White Street
Danbury, CT  06811
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Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and co-founder of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, David Crosby is heading out on tour in Nov and Dec. Joining him will be five musical friends, James...

Cost: $125.00

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Road
Ridgefield , CT  06877
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

The WCSU Chamber Singers, conducted by Kevin Jay Isaacs, and the Concert Choir, conducted by Cory Ganschow, will perform Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. in the Veronica Hagman Concert...

Cost: $6.00

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave Extension
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Following the rapturous response to his last opera, The Tempest, the Met presents the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, inspired by the classic Luis...

Cost: Tickets: $25 | Members & Seniors $20 | Students $15

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield , CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Let the Katonah Museum be your child’s art studio on school vacation days this season! With assemblage as our theme, children will collect, transform, re-imagine, and construct with an...

Cost: Children: $5 Members, $8 Non-Members. Adults: Regular admission.

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Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
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Explore the various ways in which artists can act as storytellers. Use a variety of drafting materials, such as graphite, pen and ink, markers, colored pencils, and watercolor to create a work of...

Cost: Free for members or with Museum admission

Where:
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258 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Telephone: 203-438-4519
Contact Name: Emily Devoe
Website »

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Exhibit on view November 4 – 26, 2017 A comprehensive exhibit showcasing the achievements, careers, designs and personal accomplishments of the architects at the center of New...

Cost: Free

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
Waveny Park
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Saturday, November 25 at 4-6pm at the Carriage Barn Arts Center Curator Alan Goldberg will give a guided tour of the New Canaan Modern Architects: 50 years of Achievement 1947-1997 exhibit. Set...

Cost: 0

Where:
Carriage Barn Arts Center
681 South Ave.
New Canaan , CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “Paradigm Shifts,” a group exhibition featuring paintings by Charles Arnoldi, Ricardo Mazal and Manuel Mérida.  The show opens...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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