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The HSUS Announces Winners of Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest

Gus the Dog of Spirit Lake, Idaho Singled Out from More than 45,000 Entries

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, is pleased to announce the winner of the Judged Category of the second annual Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest.

With more than 45,000 entries, the panel of celebrity judges faced a daunting task, but in the end, the photo and description of Lanmana Parys’ dog Gus of Spirit Lake, Idaho carried the day. The 2009 celebrity panel was comprised of Matt Grant of "The Bachelor," author and dog trainer Tamar Geller, "MUTTS" cartoonist Patrick McDonnell and photographer Christopher Ameruoso.

Here's what the judges had to say about the entries and the contest:

"What a great bunch and thank you so much for allowing me to judge. Gus just pipped everyone because he is so caring and looks after all his foster brother and sisters. What a star!" - Matt Grant

"They are all so adorable, but there was one dog whose all consuming exuberance just made me laugh out loud." - Tamar Geller

"It was difficult to choose, because they are all wonderful and any of them could be the grand prize winner." - Patrick McDonnell

"They are all great, great photos. It was tough to choose. Thank you so much for letting me be part of your contest." - Christopher Ameruoso

As grand prize winners in the Judged Category, Gus and Lanmana will be featured as The HSUS' electronic Pet of the Week newsletter on March 22, 2009 and will be profiled with a story and photos in an upcoming issue of The HSUS' bimonthly All Animals magazine. They'll also get to go on a $1,000 shopping spree at HUMANE Domain, The HSUS' online store.

“We congratulate Gus and Lanmana, and thank all the thousands of people who submitted wonderful photos of their cherished family pets,” said Michael Markarian, executive vice president of The HSUS. “The photo contest is a celebration of our animal companions, and all the joy and enrichment they bring to our lives every day.”


This is the description of Gus that captured the judges' hearts and imagination: "He is the best babysitter/big brother for all the fosters I have had through the years. I can trust him with the smallest and weakest, and even his annoying little sister can't break his patience."

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 around the world 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.

Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest sponsors include IDEXX Laboratories, Petplan Pet Insurance, Zootoo.com Shelter Makeover and Legacy Interactive. 


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. 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 

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