January 22, 2009
The HSUS Launches Spay Day Pet Photo Contest
Online Pet Photo Contest Raises Funds for Spay/Neuter Efforts in Partnership with Local Humane Organizations
Calling all pet lovers and shutterbugs. The Humane Society of the United States launched its annual Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest on Jan. 19. The event raises funds for Spay Day events around the world, with more than 200 organizations joining The HSUS and Humane Society International in this worldwide 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 determined 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 on the last Tuesday of February, with events in honor of the day occurring throughout February. Event organizers across the United States and internationally hold special spay/neuter clinics and conduct outreach efforts to raise funds and promote spaying and neutering. 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 The HSUS, 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 receives a photo shoot with famed pet photographer Amanda Jones and recognition in HSUS publications. The top 10 fundraisers receive custom oil portraits of the submitted photos by Janie Coleman and Kirk Fanelly. The top 500 fundraisers receive a $25 electronic gift card to Humane Domain, The HSUS' online store, 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. Ten finalists receive a $200 shopping spree at Humane Domain.
Four million cats and dogs — about one every eight seconds — are put down in U.S. animal shelters each 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.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.