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Walk the Talk for Your Pet: How Artists Make a Difference

Artists and creatives can find many ways to apply their creative practice toward advancing a greater social cause. For animal lovers, this can mean supporting animal rights causes and rescue groups looking to prevent dogs, cats and other pets from being placed in risky situations such as high kill shelters. Many creatives have found a powerful outlet of creative expression by supporting animal charities and animal rights groups. These can range from large-scale organizations such as PETA to the Humane Society to smaller community-based initiatives. Artists, in particular, have even more options when it comes to dedicating their creative services to supporting organizations that are seeking to place animals in safe and secure homes.

Here we dive into the options available for artists and creative professionals seeking to apply their work toward a positive force f0r social change, as we survey the field of animal causes and charities that are changing animal’s lives for the better.

Advocating for Animal Causes

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The Art of Putting Pets First

“I will continue to speak up for those who have no voice,” notes CFDA-award-winning fashion designer John Bartlett of his work to support animal rescue organizations through the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund. Named after Bartlett’s own sweet 3-legged rescue doggie (who sadly has since passed on), the designer notes that he felt his calling toward raising awareness and funds around animal rights the minute he started his new life with his canine companion. Designing clothing that sees a portion of sales go directly to the hands-on rescue groups and advocacy organizations securing animal rights as their key mission, Bartlett has cemented a space for Tiny Tim Rescue Fund as a primary initiative that applies creative talent toward real, demonstrable change for our canine and feline friends. 

Artists and creatives can also apply their talents in other ways, by directly giving of their time to the organizations who need their services. Artists Helping Animals is one such program tailored toward finding unique, creative solutions for organizations needing design and artistic projects handled by savvy, well-meaning professionals. Part of HeARTs Speak’s series of programs, through the Artists Helping Animals initiative more than 1/3rd of animal rescue organizations have received pro bono services for their marketing efforts that have positively impacted over 350,000 animals that are waiting for their forever homes. Initiatives like this one are perfect for those artists and creative professionals willing to give of their time and apply their creative acumen toward positive results from animals in need.

Pets Seeking Artistic Support

Walk the Talk for Your Pet: How Artists Make a Difference 1

Want to personally select the rescue organizations that benefit from artistic and creative endeavors? Artists have the option of working on their own limited edition artworks, wearables or other products that benefit their selected animal rescue organization of choice with a portion of sales. While this may take more direct, hands-on administration, for artists who are passionate about seeing their funds go toward animal rights groups that they know are performing animal rescue to their standards this option is the way to go. Whether setting aside time to paint pet portraits for owners whose money will then partially go to funding animal rights organizations and rescue groups or putting your event production skills to good use to design and create space for potential owners to mix with and meet their new furry family,  there are a myriad of ways in which you can get creative in conceptualizing how to support the animal rescue groups making an impact for the pets they serve. By working one on one with local community groups, rescue organizations, and adoption event spaces and organizers artists and creatives can personally witness the impact that their hard work has on the animals needing homes in their areas.

Artists and creatives serious about animal rescue and helping pets find their forever homes can make a difference with as small a gesture as mentioning their passion for pets and rescue groups during interviews, and helping organizations they are passionate about to receive more exposure for their good work. The power of artists to enact positive social change through their visibility cannot be understated. Whether applying creative efforts toward making sure animals receive stand-out marketing attention across the internet and social media or creating actual goods for sale that benefit specific rescue organizations, artists have the unique vantage point to craft a narrative for the animals who need their help.

Artists and creative professionals can seek out the work other creatives, such as John Bartlett, have done for inspiration to begin their own endeavors toward supporting animal rights activism and animal rescue groups! Never underestimate the power of creativity to inspire and reimagine ways that animal rescue can get the word out there, cultivate new links within the community, and get new forever homes for their furry friends.

Feel inspired to make a difference right now? Take a look at our Open Call, Cause for Paws, and submit a design that can help support animal health and welfare for the Tiny Tim Rescue Fund!

About the author

Audra Lambert

Audra Lambert is a curator, arts marketing consultant, and editor based in Sunnyside, Queens, where her Chi-Spaniel puppy graciously allows her to cohabit.

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