2 Freelance Creatives Use Pop Art to Help Dogs Who Lost Their Homes in Hurricane Harvey

By Patrick Coffee 

Natural disasters provide us with a rare opportunity to stop arguing with avatars and distant family members on social media.

Like most of the country, the ad industry has come together to help out in the wake of Harvey and Irma, two of the largest storms to hit the U.S. in decades. The Ad Council has already released a couple of spots.


Two agency creatives, however, have taken a slightly different tack: they want to help the dogs.

Art director Peter Cortez recently received an email from BarkBox CEO Matt Meeker regarding the company’s collaboration with Houston-area charity Houston Pets Alive and got inspired to help out along with partner and freelance creative director Andrew Payton.

“As a dog owner, my heart goes out to the animals in the Houston Area,” said Cortez. “I donated and was looking around the site to see what they were doing and saw they need tons of help.” The two decided that, rather than simply asking friends on social media to donate, they would make some creative work to sell, with all benefits going to the Pets Alive organization. They settled on dog-themed posters.

So far, DogsOfHurricaneHarvey includes four pieces. As noted, all proceeds will go to the Houston organization.

“I wanted to design something that was clean, charming and poignant, but not so sad that no one would want to have it in their house,” Cortez added.

The point of this effort is not to diminish the suffering of the thousands of Americans affected by Harvey. But a quick glance at related headlines makes clear that many dogs have been stranded or worse. The result is hundreds or thousands of rescue dogs moving as far away as British Columbia.

Here’s the pitch letter for the project.


We have been working on a project called Dogs of Hurricane Harvey that we think will be meaningful to many of your readers.

As creative directors who work on big brands during the day and at night come up with ways to try and help the world, we, like many, have watched the devastation from Hurricane Harvey and asked, “How can we help?” And as dog lovers, our heart inevitably goes out to the dogs, and all the animals in need, that have been left homeless and at risk from this incredible storm.

We have created four posters of four different sweet dogs, with the entire proceeds going to Houston Pets Alive. They’re rescuing and evacuating animals from severely affected areas, providing shelter and supplies to dogs forced to leave their homes, and coordinating foster care for the many, many dogs driven from flooded shelters.

Our posters have a clean aesthetic with vibrant colors that come to life when printed with a metallic finish. We believe they will make a welcome addition to the home of anyone who loves dogs and pop art in general.

With all the other storms and in this difficult news climate, we don’t want these innocent animals to be forgotten. We’re hoping you will share our project.


Peter Cortez & Andrew Payton