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HSI Launches Spay Day Pet Photo Contest

Humane Society International

Calling all pet lovers and shutterbugs! Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States launched their annual Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest on Jan. 19. The contest raises funds for Spay Day in conjunction with events around the world, with more than 200 organizations joining HSI and The HSUS in an effort to celebrate pets and spay and neuter dogs and cats to reduce the number of homeless animals.

The contest has two sets of winners — one determined solely by the amount of money raised for Spay Day projects, and another decided by a panel of celebrity judges, including Matt Grant of “The Bachelor,” author and dog trainer Tamar Geller, “MUTTS” cartoonist Patrick McDonnell and photographer Christopher Ameruoso.

Spay Day takes place each year on the last Tuesday of February, with events in honor of the day occurring throughout the month. Event organizers internationally hold special spay/neuter clinics and conduct outreach efforts to raise funds and promote sterilization of companion and street animals. Organizations holding events this year are located in Bermuda, Canada, Columbia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit hsi.org/spayday. Since its inception in 1995, more than 1.5 million dogs and cats have been spayed or neutered as a result of Spay Day.

To enter the contest, upload your photo at photocontest.humanesociety.org before 5 p.m. EST Feb. 27. When you donate and vote, you'll help get pets spayed and neutered around the world. Every donation you make goes directly to helping pets — and gives the pet you choose one more vote in the contest. The contest includes a Facebook application (apps.facebook.com/spayday/) that allows participants to share their entries.

Each contestant can choose the charity or charities—such as HSI and local animal rescue organizations — that will receive funds directly every time his or her pet photo gets a vote online, provided the charity fulfills all eligibility requirements. In the fundraising category, the grand prize fundraiser (if outside continental U.S.), and the top 10 fundraisers will receive custom oil portraits of the submitted photos by Janie Coleman and Kirk Fanelly. If international entrants are in the top 500 fundraisers, they will receive an electronic gift card to zazzle.co.uk, and the Legacy Interactive Pet Pals: New Leash on Life video game.

For the entrants deemed the top pet photos by the judges, the grand prize is a $1,000 shopping spree at Humane Domain, The HSUS’ online store. Ten finalists receive a $200 shopping spree at Humane Domain.

Millions of homeless cats and dogs are euthanized around the world every year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Spay/neuter is the only permanent method of birth control for dogs and cats and a proven way to reduce the vast numbers of animals who are born only to die prematurely and without a family who loves them.

Spay Day Online Photo Contest sponsors include IDEXX Laboratories, Petplan Pet Insurance, Zootoo.com Shelter Make-over and Pet Pals: New Leash on Life by Legacy Interactive.

Last year, Gabriella Pyle of Walnut Creek, Calif. submitted the winning photo of her with her cat Gomer. The 2009 Spay Day Online Photo Contest winners will be announced the week of March 16.


Humane Society International is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States, one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations — backed by 10.5 million people. HSI is creating a better future for animals and people through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the web at hsi.org.