Kona was the grand prize winner of the 2022 Vancouver Island Dogs calendar. Photo suppled

Kona was the grand prize winner of the 2022 Vancouver Island Dogs calendar. Photo suppled

Fundraiser for Operation Freedom Paws Canada giving dog owners the chance to showcase their pups

Vancouver Island Dogs Calendar Contest returns for a second year with great prizes up for grabs

The Vancouver Island Dogs Calendar Contest is returning for a second year.

In 2021, Operation Freedom Paws Canada, in partnership with Pauliina Saarinen Photography, introduced the contest as a fundraising campaign for the Operation Freedom Paws Canada Service Dog Program based in Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island.

The inaugural contest was an overwhelming success. There were 209 entries received, with more than 700 participants casting votes.

Kona, a border collie from Victoria, was grand prize winner, but the real winner was Operation Freedom Paws Canada, with more than $42,000 raised.

This year’s contest will run for six weeks, from May 1-June 12.

To enter the contest, submit a photo of your dog and a $10 donation, then start collecting votes from friends, family, acquaintances, etc.

There will be 13 grand prize winners (the cover dog, and 12 ‘Dogs of the Month’) and six weekly mini-contest winners (plus additional local prize winners), to be determined by the number of votes they receive.

Prizes have been made possible via generous donations from 24 businesses on Vancouver Island and beyond.

For more information and to enter the contest, go to https://www.gogophotocontest.com/ofpcanada

Operation Freedom Paws Canada is a registered Canadian charity that matches rescue or shelter dogs with human partners and trains the dog-handler teams to certify them as service dog teams under the BC Guide Dog and Service Dog Act. OFP Canada’s training program is a lifeline for people suffering from trauma or other disabilities, as the program enables the clients to rejoin their communities and live life with renewed hope.

Pauliina Saarinen Photography of Duncan specializes in dog photography and creates soulful images for dog-lovers on all of Vancouver Island. Saarinen’s images have won awards in international competitions.

“I’m honored to partner with OFP Canada. They take their service dog teams under their wings, providing everything they need to succeed,” said Saarinen.

She will photograph all the winners for the calendar, which will be available for purchase in the fall from OFP Canada.

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