Canadian-born celebrity and fashion photographer Mike Ruiz has worked with such stars as Kim Kardashian, Betty White, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, and has snapped photos for magazines incluing Elle, Vanity Fair and Paper. But recently he’s taken photos for a Heart Throbs and Hounds 2018 calendar featuring hot male fitness models and their four-legged friends, the proceeds of which will help local rescue shelters with their veterinary costs.
“What inspired me [to shoot this calendar] is the dire need of millions of animals that need loving homes,” Ruiz tells us. He adds that he adopted “the love of my life” — his pit bull Oliver — from a rescue shelter.
He met Oliver while visiting a friend in Los Angeles. His friend was fostering the pit bull and, Ruiz says, “I took one look into those soulful brown eyes and it was over.” He filled out the adoption paperwork less than 24 hours later.
Here’s a video of Mike Ruiz talking about his pit bull, Oliver:
Ruiz believes in adopting animals from rescue shelters (as opposed to animal breeders) because, he says, shelters ensure their animals are happy, healthy and well-adjusted enough before going into family homes.
The proceeds from the Heart Throbs and Hounds 2018 calendar go towards Fur Friends In Need, a charitable animal rescue and adoption organization serving parts of New York and New Jersey, and Lilo’s Promise, a pit bull rescue shelter serving Philadelphia and South Jersey.
Asked if there were any standout moments from the calendar photo shoot, he tells, us, “Every moment I’m around hot guys and adorable pups is a standout moment!”
Enjoy these shots from the Heart Throbs and Hounds 2018 calendar: