Muscular upper body challenge for the animals – Would you accept that too?

You can regularly read daily reports about the work of the animal shelter and the owner looking animals on the Facebook page of Fehérvári Állatotthon – HEROSZ. In order to make this work smoothly and up-to-date, next to the site manager Gyöngyi Krepsz, a team of volunteers needs to work diligently on a daily basis.

This small team works – literally day and night – to spread informations about the animals looking for owners and the site and also outreach posts as widely as possible to as many people as possible. One of the column members of the team is writer Edit Sohonyai, who renewed the page with her new ideas and approach, further increasing its reputation and popularity.

Based on a ministatic, Edit suggested that we should come up with an owner looking post, where next to the animals’ introduction, we also have something to please the readers. This is how the idea of the muscular upper body challenge was born, in view of the big summer heat.

After our highly succesful, unusual dog-ballet photography – which you can read more about HERE – we turned to the cats. After the vernal baby boom, the animal shelter was full of kittens waiting for their owners, but the rate of adoption did not follow the gradual increase in the number of animals entering and seeking owners. The main goal of the project was to find responsible owners for these young animals as soon as possible, so they could socialize and grow up in a home environment, with families.

One of the incoming litters: Lolo, Luxo and Lina

As a first step, we published a CALL on our social site, where we waited for applications from people with chiseled upper bodies. While Edit coordinated and arranged the right time with the participants, the photography team also took action.

We went to the gym with coach Reni Rusznák and tried different poses, postures and lightning settings on our volunteer Gábor Bódy, using Reni’s anatomical knowledge and coaching experience.

The test photo should be imagined this way… the little towel symbolizes a kitten.

There were several ideas about the location of the photo shoot, but since we basically wanted to get nimble kittens on the lens, we definitely had to look for some closed space from which we could gather the kittens when they set out into the world. We didn’t want to risk a possible way to escape outdoors, but we didn’t want to use a leash or harness either. In connection with bodybuilders, the idea was given to look for a gym where this whole diverse, noisy company would be admitted. Finally, thanks to a voluntary donation, the OxyGym was waiting for us with open arms on the appointed day. They provided us a separate room where we could fit comfortably, we didn’t disturb those who wanted to train and the models were also able to warm up before the performance.

We had no restrictions on those applying for the photoshoot, regardless of gender or age, anyone with the will and courage could come. However, a few days before the appointed date, we found ourselves in a tight spot as most of the applicants cancelled the participation due to illnesses and other reasons. At that moment, in our final desperation, we posted another post ont he „Fehérvári vagyok” facebook group, as a result of which the news reached the ears of coach Orsolya Bánhidi. Orsi – who is herself a big animal lover and supporter of many charitable initiatives – immediately mobilized the best of her team and within a few hours was even the planned number for the event. It was a special pleasure for us that a celebrity also applied to us, because Miklós Rácz, as a player of Ninja Warrior Hungary obsessed with extreme sports also strengthened our team.

Painter Árpád Kovács also accepted the challenge, and as the only member in his fifties proved that the age does not matter and exercising regularly is very useful for our health. Finally, the list of those who accepted the muscular upper body challenge was as follows:

Veronika Hada personal trainer and cat Szuma

Luca Berey coach and physiotherapist student with Tejszín

Laura Lea Szegedy personal trainer and Praxi

Bence Marton electrical engineering student and bodybuilder with Szili

Gergő Bánhidi personal trainer with Gray

Miklós Rácz personal trainer, Ninja Warrior participant and extreme athlete with Viktor

Árpád Kovács, painter and teacher chose Piti


Gergely Báthory, technical manager, bodybuilder and lifestyle advisor with puppy Lolka and kitten Zsira


Tamás Lévai mechanical engineer, lifestyle and nutrition advisor, bodybuilder with kitten Kacor and puppy Vektor

Imre László entrepreneur, ex rock musician with Binni

The photoshoot was made more difficult by the fact that there were windows or mirrors on every wall of the gym that reflected light and also reflected unwanted things in the taken shots. But in the end, we found the place where we could comfortably fit in and eliminate the problem. The photoshoot itself took place in a very good mood, the little animals brought a natural smile to everyone’s faces. There was no shortage of fun. Beside the kittens we also brought two owner-seeking puppies with us to increase their chances of getting an owner. Each person was given a time between 10-30 minutes, which depended mostly on the cooperation of the animals. During this time, the others were not bored, they warmed up, photographed at the banner, or just talked and pampered the animals. Edit did a mini-interview with each model, from which we could find out what was the reason behind the model’s applications, what they did for a living, what motivated them, how they related to the animals and what kind of animals they had at home.

The technical equipment was provided and the photos were taken by the volunteer Éva Szarvas, in whom the professional photographer Fruzsina Fent also helped with her useful advice. Gábor Bódy was responsible for the technical details and fining. Coach Reni Rusznák made sure that the postures were adjusted correctly and helped the models pick up the right poses.

Coach Reni Rusznák with Gray and coach Miki Rácz with Viktor

The animals were prepared, supervised and cared for by a small, separate team of volunteers on the other side of the room. Zita Császár Csanádiné, Éva Júlia Ferenczi and Anikó Ferenczi were made sure that the animals’ eyes be clean, be their fur spotlessly clean and free of lumps, be food and water in front of them on demand and the puppies meet their needs outside. They smoothed wrinkles, collected excess hair, ran after the fugitives, fed-watered and, with colorful-rattling toys also caught the animals’ attention when it was needed.


Somehow this is how it should be imagined… more photos can be viewed HERE.

The team would not have been complete without the kids, who also do volunteer work at the animal shelter. Julcsi, Kamilla and Blanka helped to keep the kittens busy, they rolled a small ball and entertained them with a fishing game. Finally Kamilla and Blanka also accepted the challenge and stood in front of the camera with their common favorite, kitten Gray.



The chiseled upper body challenge achieved its goal, because we were able to get all the participating pet an owner in a short time.

We would like to thank the brave participants who took on the challenge and gave their name and body to the project. We thank the volunteers for their positive attitude and maximum helpfulness in resolving any issues that may arise immediately. We are grateful to Reni and Fruzsi for their professional advice. Thanks to the room and the service to the OxyGym’s team who rushed to our aid immediately. We are also grateful to the brainstormer Edit Sohonyai, who believed in the success of the project and united, coordinated the whole movement, encouraged the participants. Anyone who contributed to the project with a hare or comment helped these animals eventually be adopted by someone. And last but not least, we would like to thank the site manager, Gyöngyi Krepsz for the opportunity, who trusted us to the maximum and gave us permission to implement this seemingly unusual idea.

The project is closed, but we are coming soon with another one…

More pictures and mini-interviews with the participants can be found under the hashtag #meztelenfelsőtestkihívásaheroszért on the Fehérvári Állatotthon’s facebook page.

FMC interview about the event: