Irish animal lovers and vets alike are upset over the racy images featured in the 2011 Puppy Love calendar. The images portray scantily clad women in unusual poses with dogs.
The calendar which was printed to raise money for an animal rescue charity in County Wicklow is being accused of promoting bestiality. It seems that while some of the photos are quite tasteful others have been taken for shock value.
The March photo of 22-year-old Polish model Agata Dembiecka holding a puppy her naked breast has caused most controversy. Petshops are boycotting the calendar and 12 of its backers have pulled out.
Adelheid Walsh, originally from Norway, was one of the original creators along with Dublin-based photographer Karol Liver.
Speaking to the Daily Mail Walsh said, "We wanted to raise money for the animal shelter as it is non-state funded. We had no idea the Irish public would be so judgmental … Why should we be sorry for this calendar? We've done nothing wrong and we can't say we shouldn't have done it because we would do it all again.
"We have a soft spot for animals and so does the model Agata. She is actually a member of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). She loves animals,” she said.
TV vet Peter Wedderburn, from Bray, County Wicklow, said that the picture of the puppy may be about nurturing animals but it's entirely wrong.
"It could lead to accusations of cruelty, and many people will be concerned for the welfare of the puppy … I think it's distasteful to show photos of dogs suckling on a woman. I'm concerned about it just as much as I would be concerned about dogs being dressed up in wedding outfits just to take photos.
"The puppy would not suffer any long-term consequences but it's a moral issue. Fully dressed people are the best way to raise awareness," he said
ASH animal rescue have come out in support of the calendar. Spokeswoman Helena Le Mahieu said, "It's a beautiful calendar and the picture is very tasteful. People should get over the minor details like this and get behind this calendar.”