Before Oliver, a 2-year-old tabby, was adopted in 2012, he was a stray kitten doing his best to survive in an old barn behind a Southold church.
Now, the blue-eyed beauty is Mr. August 2015 in North Fork Animal Welfare League’s first calendar.
Photographed by volunteer photographer Katharine Schroeder of Cutchogue, the “Adopt Love!” calendar features portraits of cats and dogs that have been adopted from or are still waiting at NFAWL, which operates shelters in Riverhead and Peconic.
NFAWL director Gillian Wood-Pultz said the calendar, which is available for purchase at both shelters and at three local businesses, is selling well. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit group.
“They’re great gifts for Christmas,” she said. “Everybody needs a calendar.”
Ms. Schroeder, a freelance photographer for Times Review Media Group, said photographing the animals, who were chosen using a lottery system after interested owners sent in pictures of their pets, was “very challenging but lots of fun.”
“Most of the dogs were so friendly they charged right at the camera, trying to lick either me or the lens,” she said. “I used treats and sound effects to get good expressions from them.”
Ms. Schroeder said one dog, a beagle named Bailey, liked having her picture taken so much that she led the photographer to various locations throughout the house and “posed and posed and posed. I never saw anything like it.”
Not surprisingly, getting the cats to cooperate was a bit trickier.
“Oliver falls asleep when he gets stressed or loses interest in something,” Ms. Schroeder said. “After taking only a handful of shots of him, he nodded off and there was nothing we could do to wake him up. Luckily, one of the shots was perfect.”
“Adopt Love!” is available for $10 at NFAWL’s Riverhead and Peconic shelters and at Groom and Gear in Mattituck, Dog Town in Southold and Harbor Pets in Greenport.
The calendar is also available for $15 (price includes shipping costs) at nfawl.org.
Captions: One-year-old Camo (top, right) was adopted by the Schoenstein family in 2013 and is much more canine than feline, his owners say. Layney (middle, left), a 3-year-old pit bull mix, loves playing with the dogs in her neighborhood.