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January 20, 2010

Pick a Photo; Save a Life

Enter the photo contest to earn funds to save animals!

The Humane Society of the United States

Jake Spay Day Photo Contest 2009

Marleen Oetzel/The HSUS

When Jake arrived at the Delaware SPCA's Sussex County chapter, he was so terrified that he had curled his body into a ball.

"It was horribly sad, but I realized at that time that had they not caught him that way, he would have truly starved to death out there," said Marleen Oetzel, who was at the SPCA that day.

Oetzel is the founder/director of Lost and Found Dog Rescue Adoption Center based in New Castle, Del. Last year she was one of the top fundraisers in the Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest with her photo of Jake giving her a kiss.

Jake's story

Oetzel recalls the day she met Jake.

"He must have been lost or dumped because he was horribly emaciated. He was out there trying to survive without food or water or a friendly person to help him," she said.

"I came back a week later to pull a few more dogs and asked to see him. He had been so abused that he was afraid of all humans. He was quaking when we met, but after only about five minutes of baby talk, I was able to get my first kiss and he came home with me that day."

Oetzel rescued Jake and then later adopted him out to a loving family.

Enter the contest!

Starting Jan. 20, you can enter your pet in the Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest and help save animals' lives. Like Oetzel, you can share your pet's photo and story with your friends and family and ask them to donate to vote for your pet. Every dollar donated in your pet's name will help spay and neuter animals around the world—and give your pet another vote!

More than 600 pets with the most votes will win stellar prizes. And even without votes, you'll be in the running to win big—a panel of photographer judges will award prizes to their favorite 36 entries.

Enter your pet in this year's Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest »

Fundraising advice

All in all, Oetzel raised more than $4,300 for Lost and Found Dog Rescue Adoption Center with Jake's photo during last year's Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest.

"The money we raised went to finance our 'DeSex in the City' low-cost spay/neuter program here in Delaware.

Oetzel's advice for anyone hoping to win a prize in the fundraising category of this year's photo contest is to pick a special picture to enter into the contest and pick a favorite shelter/animal rescue. Then get all your friends on your e-mail list and/or Facebook to vote.

"That's what I did last year," she said. "I drove everyone crazy because I wanted to win the prize." Oetzel won an artist rendering of the photo she entered into the contest.

Repeat winner?

Oetzel said she has yet to choose a photo for this year's contest, but she will be entering the Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest again this year.
 
"I want people to know that each and every one of us animal lovers has to use our own funds to stop the needless loss of life by financing low-cost spay/neuter," said Oetzel.

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