The volunteers stripped and had their photos taken with some of the 250 dogs housed at the Favorita shelter, a unit of the Italian National Canine Defense League (La Lega Nazionale per la Difesa del Cane).
The move is part of a campaign to raise awareness about abandoned dogs and money for the centre, which depends entirely on private donations.
“We wanted to do something that would stand out and make people aware of us, and to make them stop and think about animal welfare,” Stefania Molinari, a spokeswoman for the centre, told The Local.
“We always try to come up with new ways to raise awareness but it’s the first time we’ve done anything like this. So far, it’s been very successful.”
More than 60,000 dogs were abandoned or left in shelters across Italy in 2013, a 30 percent increase on the previous year, according to figures from AIDAA, the Italian animal welfare association.