There’s something about a man who loves cute little furry things that makes us swoon, and men who rescue those cute little furry things make us fall even harder. That’s why our hearts are thumping for the upcoming Tails of RescueMen USA calendar!

rescue men calendar

Dr. Evan Antin and his rescue pup Henry. Source: Rita Earl Blackwell

It was a very fortuitous day when NYC actress Felicia Greenfield walked into an audition and met casting director and fellow animal advocate Jennifer Halpern.

rescue men calendar

From left to right: Felicia Greenfield, model Matthew White with his dog Nike, and Jennifer Halpern. Source: Virgil Ocampo

“She asked me to tell her a little something about myself, so I mentioned I run a small charity with my kids benefitting animals at the NYC ACC (Animal Care Centers — the city shelter system) called Grandpa Dave’s Creature Comforts,” recalls Greenfield. “[Jen] told me she did something extremely [similar] — with Pillows For Paws — so we decided to get together and brainstorm about synergistic possibilities to help even more animals!”

Related: These Rescue Dogs Are The Best Runway Models We’ve Ever Seen
rescue men calendar

Anthony Ruffin with his rescue dog Naomi, from the 2016 calendar. Source: RescueMen / Petra Romano

“We knew we wanted to stay very positive, and that we wanted to reach a fresh audience, as everyone in our world was already aware of puppy mills, backyard breeders, and the astounding number of shelter animals euthanized in our country. Then one day over coffee Jen just said, ‘We know so many great looking guys that have actually rescued their animals – let’s hold them up as role models and turn them into calendar men!’” Thus, RescueMen was born.

rescue men calendar 2017

Model Alvaro Francisco and his rescue pup Prima. Source: Petra Romano

Starting in 2015, Greenfield and Halpern began with their handsome pool of friends in the NYC area, who made up half of the first calendar alone. Now, in its third year of publication, the Tails of RescueMen calendar has expanded from New York City to include rescue-lovin’ men from across the country.

rescue men calendar

Comedian Steve Hofstetter and his rescue dog Walter Matthau. Source: Rita Earl Blackwell

One of these hunks is Matthew White, who lives in Washington, D.C. After serving his country, losing a leg, and suffering from PTSD, White took the advice of his physical therapist and adopted his dog Nike. She ended up having such a profound effect on his life that Matthew has become an advocate for Pit Bulls, and now works with Show Your Soft Side and other rescue organizations to educate and encourage adoption of shelter animals.

rescue dog calendar

Matthew White and his Pit Bull Nike getting snuggly on set. Source: RescueMen / Virgil Ocampo

Another group of fellas are these dapper gents from the Baltimore Bully Crew. Each of these four men have not only rescued at least one Pit Bull themselves, but they also run a grassroots, volunteer-based non-profit organization in Baltimore, a city where animal abuse and dog fighting is rampant.

The Baltimore Bully Crew aims to spread awareness and advocacy, raise funds to help as many endangered Pit Bulls as possible, fight against breed-specific laws, and teach the public about these wonderful breeds amidst a media saturated with negative portrayals of them.

Related: Reading This Redefined How We Think About Pit Bulls
rescue dog calendar

From left to right: Steve Sladki and Bonham, Jonathan Wiedefeld and Athena, Eric Vocke and Peyton (who sadly passed away a week after this photo was taken), and Sean Stinchcomb and Delilah. Source: Virgil Ocampo

When asked how they find their models, Felicia answered that they use everything from Jen’s experience and skill as a casting director, to perusing social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram, and even word-of-mouth.

rescue dog calendar

Photographer Virgil Ocampo shooting Mike Ruiz and his dog Oliver. Source: Felicia Greenfield

“We strive for a wide variety of men,” Greenfield went on to say, “but all must have a rescue, and ‘get it.’” By “get it,” she means the models have to be passionate about rescue. Some are fully immersed in the animal rights world, while others are simply happy owners who made the choice to adopt rather than buy their companion animals.

rescue dog calendar 2017

From the 2015 calendar. Source: Petra Romano

“We want them to be relatable to those for whom animal welfare is not a major concern. The calendar was designed as a way to reach out to the non-‘animal people.’” The RescueMen ladies strive to inspire adoption in all who see their calendars with men who made the decision to rescue some of the country’s millions of homeless animals. “There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t [adopt]!” Felicia told PupJournal.

rescue dog calendar

From the 2016 calendar, Oddo’s rescues are Laila (left) and Lucy (right). Source: Petra Romano

In addition to all of the wonderful work these calendars are doing spreading the important message of rescue, 100 percent of the proceeds benefit NYC shelter animals via Halpern’s non-profit organization, Pillows For Paws. Pillows For Paws donates essential materials such as beds, toys, grooming supplies, and behavioral enrichment items to cats, dogs, and even rabbits!

rescue dog calendar

From the 2016 calendar, Ryan Schira with his rescue dog Penny Lane. Source: Petra Romano

The holidays are coming up fast, so now is the time to get that shopping started. We’re certain there are quite a few people on your list that would love these suave men to grace their walls next year. They’re not only beautiful outside, but they show the value of a beautiful heart as well.

Header image via Petra Romano

 

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