Shelter employees dress up – and down – for the animals

The male employees of the Santa Fe animal shelter are willing to do almost anything to support the nonprofit’s mission, including posing in somewhat ridiculous garb for a fund-raising calendar.SFAS OM&M cover

More than a dozen of the shelter’s employees are featured in a new calendar dubbed “Of Mutts & Men,” in an effort to poke fun at themselves and raise money for the shelter’s programs. A hilarious video that’s gotten play on local television news shows, YouTube and Facebook, captures the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of the calendar’s making. Shot by the shelter’s videographer, Anna Yeager, the video showcases the fun antics and banter of the men vying for the calendar’s coveted cover spot.

To view the video, visit, or search the shelter’s YouTube channel for “Behind the Scenes of our Men’s Calendar.”

But the real stars of the calendar are the many homeless animals featured along with the men, some of whom still wait for their forever homes. One dog, for example, poses stoically with facilities workers draped in a U.S. flag for the month of July, while another enjoys the company of an admissions employee pretending to ski for the month of January. Kittens and even a homeless turtle are featured for other months.

The calendar idea has been floating around for several years, said Justin Irwin, an IT specialist with the shelter who helped recruit fellow employees to pose for the calendar. While some men eagerly agreed to subject themselves to ridicule, others took a bit more persuasion, he said.

The men chose their scenes, along with the months, and which animals they would pose with. In addition to Yeager, the videographer, shelter graphics designer Melissa Marquez photographed the scenes. It was all done over a fun two-day period with lots of silly mishaps and cute animals. Marquez designed the calendar, with additional illustrations by Psara Rose, an artist who also works for the shelter’s Behavior Department.

The calendars cost $10 each, with $2 shipping and handling if necessary. The calendars are available at the shelter, 100 Caja del Rio Road, or the shelter’s in-town resale stores, Look What the Cat Dragged In, 2570 Camino Entrada or 541 W. Cordova Road, beginning Dec. 23. People can also order the calendars by email at

The goal is to raise money for the shelter, but also to raise the shelter’s profile on a different, albeit humorous level. It’s not known what shelter employees will do for next year’s calendar, but it’s sure to be equally as creative and fun.