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.

 

 


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)

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

            

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

Weekend activities and events in the area
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Ridgefield Out & About - July/August

Like a Rolling Stone

An original theater for town

Bernard’s Backyard Bounty

A chef’s secret garden source––Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar

Hilltop Haven

Endless skies, lush gardens, and a sparkling pool

Whiplash for Fashion

Fashion show fundraiser

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

July 2017

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Hailed by the New York Times as “terrific”, The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company celebrates the rich diversity of Mexican and Mexican-American cultural heritage. With an evening...

Cost: Adult $10, Child $5

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

French mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine stars as Bizet’s immortal Gypsy heroine. Tenor Marcelo Álvarez is her hapless soldier Don José, and newcomer Maria...

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

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


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Cut a rug during our Wall to Wall carpet exhibition this summer! The KMA invites you to kick back early at the mid-week hump and turn ho-hum Wednesdays into family jam night. Join us in...

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members; Buy 2 and get 1 concert FREE

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Telephone: 914-232-9555
Contact Name: Margaret Adasko
Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A recent top prizewinner in the George Enescu International Cello Competition and Beverly Hills National Auditions, Evnin Rising Star alumna cellist Sarah Rommel is indeed a star on the...

Cost: $15, $24, $32, $40 / Free tickets for students 18 and under!

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Toad the Wet Sprocket share in the kind of musical chemistry that can only come from meeting in high school and writing, recording and touring on albums over the course of those 25 years. While...

Cost: Varies

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: (203)438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us at Lounsbury House on Friday, July 21th from 7-9pm (was moved from July 14 due to weather) for an evening of great food and friendly people. There will be family fun...

Cost: $45 before June 1, $50 after June 1

Where:
Lounsbury House
316 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Race & American Memory programs at Grace Farms examine the ways in which Americans comprehend and recall national history, and seeks to revisit instances, ideas, and lives which have suffered...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms, Sanctuary
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: (203) 920-1702
Website »

More information

Fan favorite John Fullbright returns with an evening featuring the Oklahoma singer/songwriter’s pungent lyrical imagery. Winner of the ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award, the Los Angeles...

Cost: $40, $45, $55, $65, $75

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Spend the day in Ridgefield, Connecticut for SummerFest on Saturday, July 22nd from 10 am to 4 pm for sidewalk sales, food, music, children's activities/games, shopping, and more! ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ballard Park
Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 203-438-5992
Contact Name: Jen Mulhern
Website »

More information

Brews & BBQ is back! Come out on Saturday, July 22nd at Ives Concert Park in Danbury to celebrate the change of the seasons with the ultimate spring bash featuring BBQ, craft beer and live...

Cost: Advance tickets $15, tickets at the door $20

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-9226
Contact Name: Phyllis Cortese
Website »

More information

A legend lives on! The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra returns to the Playhouse! With its unique jazz sound, the 18-member Glenn Miller Orchestra is considered one of the greatest bands of all...

Cost: $38

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


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

A true music legend, 13-time Grammy Award-winner Emmylou Harris returns to Caramoor with her unique blend of folk, country, and roots music. Whether singing the songs of Seeger, Dylan, Baez, or a...

Cost: $30, $45, $60, $70, $80, $90, $100, $110

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Join Townvibe on Saturday, July 22 for a very special evening with the cast of Milk. Begin the night with the 8pm performance of the U.S. Premiere of Milk by Ross Dunsmore at...

Cost: $100/ticket to Cocktails with the Cast. Tickets to Milk sold separately.

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags