On my 3rd year as a HeARTS Speak artist!
My love for homeless animals’ plight continues
I continue my pro bono work for the HeARTS Speak global organization by providing beautiful dog portraits to help homeless dogs get adopted.
Why? My love for all innocent creatures is quite simply put, endless. And my love for dogs in particular, is kind of strange considering I got bit in the face at the tender age of 4. This event required stitches for my face by my lips. You’d think that would have traumatized me, but no. My favorite TV show was “Lassie”, and my older siblings would make fun of me for crying whenever an animal on that show got hurt.
At a very young age I read my first “big book” which was, “Lassie Come Home”. So the origin of these deep-rooted feelings comes from deep within my soul. I now keep three dogs as pets of all different sizes and breeds – all rescues. I really wish I could save them all!
When I first moved to Bastrop County late 2012, I got involved with the community by volunteering at the local shelter to transport dogs to prevent them from being euthanized due to shelter overcrowding. But once one of the volunteers learned that I was a professional photographer, she instead got me busy photographing the shelter dogs weekly to help them get adopted. After she left there, I primarily worked with a different volunteer as a dog handler, . This activity went on for a few years until Amy left that shelter and went to a different one.
In 2016 I Learned About A Special Organization
I joined HeARTS Speak, a nationally recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization that’s uniting art and advocacy to increase the visibility of shelter animals. United in their efforts, their global community of innovative thinkers, top-notch artists, and tireless advocates are saving lives, supporting animal welfare organizations, and transforming the world’s perception of pet adoption.
This also coincides with the time when I started volunteering at the Lockhart Animal Shelter. My dog handler is a tireless volunteer there who oversees the rescue efforts of the homeless pets. It’s because of her that I can take great photos of the dogs to market for adoption. I could write a book on how my dog handler friend has transformed that little country animal shelter! She helped raise funds to provide air-conditioned kennels and large play yards for their dogs. It makes me proud to know that this is with whom I volunteer!
I don’t think I’ll ever stop providing pro bono work photographing homeless pets up for adoption. A few of the other organizations that I’ve provided this work to include Bastrop Animal Shelter, Bastrop Animal Rescue, Hardy-Hayes Refuge, and I Once Was Lost Animal Advocacy. I also cross-post animals in need of homes on Facebook as “Marlene’s Hope“.