This year, as college basketball fans cheer during March Madness, dog lovers of the South Shore can follow the Pooch Playoffs, a single-elimination tournament to crown the region’s most fetching four-legged friend.
- Longest tenured dog at Jacksonville Humane Society, Mike adopted
- Texas teen get gifts from strangers after naughty dog adoption
- LOYAL DOG SAVES OWNER AFTER BEING ABANDONED
- Mysterious respiratory dog illness: Symptoms, everything to know
- Compton man who may have been dog breeder mauled to death by pit bulls in backyard
Throughout February, two local photographers will take portraits of 48 photogenic pups, with proceeds benefiting local animal shelters. In March, contestants will enter bracket-style tournaments, with dueling dogs vying for online votes each week.
Wendy Adams, of Wendy Adams Fine Art Photography, will photograph 16 dogs to raise money for the Quincy Animal Shelter. Farther south, Isabella Ripley, of Isabella Ripley Photography, will add an extra round, with 32 contestants competing for top dog honors, while also raising money for the Scituate Animal Shelter.
Similar tournaments will take place across the country. Winners of regional tournaments win prizes donated by local businesses and will move on to a world championship round.
Pooch Playoffs for Norfolk County
Adams, who lives in Quincy, will photograph contestants on select dates throughout February at the Quincy Animal Shelter on East Squantum Street. The shelter has a special significance for Adams.
“I love the shelter,” she said. “We adopted our cat from them in 2011. My aunt has been a volunteer there for many, many years.”
For a fee of $150, all participants photographed by Adams get their animal photographed and a swag bag of items donated by local businesses. The three top vote-getters win special prizes that have yet to be determined.
“(Contestants) get to choose one of their pet’s portraits and they’ll get a little key chain image,” Adams said. “The $150 goes completely to the shelter.”
Adams said she already photographed one contestant and will take 15 more portraits throughout February. The first entry, an “adorable, 8-month-old mutt,” was adopted two months ago from the Quincy Animal Shelter, Adams said.
For more information on how to enter, vote and receive updates, visit https://www.wendyadamsfineartphotography.com/pooch-playoffs.
Pooch Playoffs for Plymouth County
For Ripley, who lives in Pembroke, 2024 marks the third year she has participated in the Pooch Playoffs. Like Adams, she has a personal connection and admiration for the beneficiary of her fundraising, the Scituate Animal Shelter.
“Everyone talks so highly of them,” she said. “They don’t euthanize. They really take care of their pets.”
Ripley said that as an individual, she could afford to contribute a couple of hundred dollars to the shelter, but through her business and in conjunction with the South Shore community, she said she has been able to “make a bigger dent.”
In 2022, Ripley said she raised $1,793 by photographing 16 contestants. In 2023, she photographed 24 dogs and raised $2,400.
“I was like, go big or go home,” she said.
This year, she plans to photograph 32 dogs to fill out the bracket and raise $3,200.
The entry fee for Ripley’s bracket is $125, and contestants must fill out an application at isabellaripley.com/poochplayoffs. Participants receive a swag bag, and prizes will be awarded to the first- through fourth-place winners − in addition to “wagging rights,” Ripley said.
There are still opportunities for local businesses looking to sponsor the event. More information can be found at her website.