FREEPORT — For a few lucky dogs at Alaqua Animal Refuge, Friday was one that took them from rescue dog to a bona fide book cover model.

Author Roxanne St. Claire, a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, orchestrated the photo shoot, along with renowned photographer Dawn Chapman Whitty, to photograph Alaqua dogs for the covers of her new 2018 and 2019 book series titled "The Dogfather."

According to a press release from Alaqua, the series is based on the story of a veterinarian who turned his homestead into a world-class dog training and rescue facility.

"The Dogfather series is a celebration of great, lovable dogs, big families, sexy heroes, and true love," the press release said.

This is the not the first time Alaqua dogs have been featured on the covers of St. Claire’s books. According to the press release, St. Clair first discovered Alaqua rescue dogs that had been photographed by Whitty for a fundraising calendar approximately two years ago.

“I knew they captured the spirit of 'The Dogfather' series, so I was absolutely thrilled to be able to use them," St. Claire said.

The author has written nearly 50 romance and suspense novels, including several series such as The Dogfather, Barefoot Bay, the Guardian Angelinos and the Bullet Catchers. A resident of Florida and an "avid animal lover," St. Claire said she chose to return to Alaqua for the photo shoot because she believes in its mission as a no-kill animal shelter, and its advocacy for the general welfare and humane treatment of all animals, the press release said.

Since the series’ inception, St. Claire has donated a portion of the first month sales of each book to Alaqua, which assists with ongoing, essential daily care for many animals.

During the photo shoot, five models posed in various locations at Alaqua with different dogs, large and small.

“We were thrilled when Roxanne contacted us again. We couldn’t be happier that she chose to shoot her new book covers onsite at Alaqua, and with some of our precious rescue dogs,” said Laurie Hood, founder of Alaqua Animal Refuge. “We appreciate her including us in this ongoing book series. These dogs found their second chance at life and love here at Alaqua, and now Roxanne is giving them a larger stage."

For more on St. Clair, visit her website at www.roxannestclaire.com.