Pittsburgh Pet Calendar Contest Raises $21K for Biggies Bullies

When I set my fifth calendar contest year’s fundraising goal at $20K back in January, a little part of me feared that it may be too big. It felt different than anything I’d done before. I didn’t know what to expect. I questioned if I could make it happen. I wanted to play small; however, a larger part of me (although buried deep down in my gut that was filled with those nervous butterflies) whispered, Go for it. What do you have to lose? 

And so I did–and I am so thankful for that. With your help and the support of the Pittsburgh pet community and many small businesses, we not only exceeded that $20K goal, we also made possible some pretty incredible things for our calendar partner, Biggies Bullies, a foster home-based rescue on a mission of rescuing and re-homing pit bull-type dogs in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

According to Biggies Bullies, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in April, “These funds are crucial in helping us fund our foster dogs and supporting our community programs that keep pets in their own homes during tough times.”

Founded in 2011, Biggies Bullies is an entirely volunteer-developed and staffed non-salaried 501c3 non-profit charity that relies heavily on donations to continue its work and programs like Hungry Hippo’s Pet Food Pantry, hospice care, and its Freedom Harness Exchange. With community support through projects and fundraisers like this annual calendar contest, Biggies Bullies is able to further its efforts on educating the public on responsible dog ownership, the importance of spaying and neutering their pets, and positive force-free training. Its caring and humane approach helps ensure proper placement of its dogs by making appropriate matches to the right families and remaining a lifelong resource for them.

In 2020, this calendar contest became a safety net during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many in-person events and gala were cancelled, which the rescue said helped them stay afloat.

“Seeing the incredible success of this fundraiser this year is mind-blowing. We have big plans for 2021 and these funds are going to help us make an even bigger impact,” the rescue elaborates. Among the goals for this year’s donations are to use the funds for their originally intended plans: free vaccine clinics.

A large part of this year’s success is thanks to the generous contributions of weekly mini-contest prizes, totaling more than $500, from pet-friendly businesses based right here in the ‘burgh and throughout the country. They include Curly Tail Coffee, Diamond Daisy Design, DogGone Candles, Fluff, Half Moon Hounds, Petagogy, Tailored Pet, Three Wags, and Wagsburgh. The overwhelming support of these businesses also made possible our first ever judge’s choice prize, donated by HEGdesigns and chosen by The Sunshine Dogs.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: our 13 grand prize winning pups!

Among the dogs set to be featured in our 2022 Biggies Bullies pet calendar are:

  • Diamond, an eight-year-old Greyhound mix and self-proclaimed fashionista following in her three calendar model siblings’ footsteps.
  • Portia Blue, a four-year-old French bulldog who “must be petted and fawned over at all times.”
  • A senior Italian greyhound named Chubbs whose family says has been the most important part of their lives.
  • Duffy, a Biggies Bullies adoptable pit bull terrier mix looking for his forever home.
  • Spunky principessa Jolene who loves food, her dad, and cuddling…and making out while fulfilling her role as resident lap dog.
  • Six-year-old Roxy who has grown into what her mom calls “the most fun, silliest pup we could ever ask for!”
  • Returning calendar contest model and former Biggies Bullies adoptable pup, Godfrey, who his mom refers to as the biggest goofball and mama’s boy.
  • Cleo, a pit bull terrier mix, who spent the contest campaigning for other rescue pups like her to find their forever homes too.
  • Hoagie, a “bull-shit” (English bulldog/Shih Tzu mix), a two-year-old stubborn little stinker who loves hosting his own NFL viewing parties.
  • Boog, a ten-year-old rescue, gentle giant, and fan of spiky balls, lounging in the sun, and butt scratches.
  • Rosie, a spunky and sassy two-year-old American Staffordshire terrier mix, whose brother Arthur was featured in last year’s calendar.
  • Gus, a beagle/Jack Russell mix adopted from Animal Friends in late 2017.
  • Walter, your 2022 calendar contest cover model, who went from eating trash to survive in after being abandoned in Tennessee to now living like a prince alongside his fur sister.

These furry faces will each receive a complimentary on-location photography session with Bark & Gold Photography to capture their calendar contest images beginning in late-March to be included in our 2022 pet calendar that will be available in mid-September 2021.

On behalf of Biggies Bullies and myself, we thank you for your support in making this year’s contest our largest and most successful to date!

The Biggies Bullies pet calendar contest is an annual fundraising event that launches each January to raise money for the rescue. To be among the first to hear when our 2023 calendar contest launches, be sure to join the VIP list.

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