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Doberman Pinscher Takes Top Honors in Natural Dog-Eared Photo Contest

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association has awarded top honors in its "Natural Dog-Eared Photo Contest" to Remington, a 5 ½-month-old Doberman pinscher puppy from Houston, Texas, for a photo that accentuates Remington's soft, floppy black ears.

HSVMA hosted the photo contest to promote the natural beauty and functionality of dogs with their natural, as opposed to cropped, ears. The contest was open to dogs from breeds, such as Dobermans, whose ears are traditionally cropped to conform to breed standards. The ear cropping procedure typically involves amputating a portion of a dog's ears so that they stand erect instead of hanging naturally and is performed on puppies just 9 to 12 weeks of age.

"This is my best friend," wrote Remington's caregiver, Hilda Dorsett, in submitting his photo. "We had plenty of peer pressure to have his ears cropped but had no problem saying 'no way!' He just graduated from puppy school. He was the brightest student in his class and, as you can see, he's incredibly handsome."

Taking second place honors in the contest was Willie, a 7-year-old miniature schnauzer, from Asheville, N.C., whose caregiver, Laura DeMers, said he has "satellite" ears. Laverne, a 12-year-old harlequin Great Dane, earned the third-place spot. Unfortunately, Laverne passed away earlier this year after her caregiver, Laura Demers of Brazil, Ind., submitted her photo but Demers said the award was a fitting tribute for her beautiful, natural-eared Dane.

HSVMA received more than 60 entries for the contest representing a variety of the breeds that are normally cropped. In addition to the breeds mentioned above, those represented included American Staffordshire terrier, Boston terrier, American pit bull terriers, miniature pinschers and boxers.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges with a longstanding history of viewing and appreciating the beauty of natural dog ears. The judges included Paula Kislak, DVM, who serves on the HSVMA Leadership Council; Frank McMillan, DVM, Dipl ACVIM, a veterinarian who works for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah; and Candy Spelling, a dog aficionado. The judges all acknowledged that the task of picking the top three was one of the hardest they have faced since there were so many photos of beautiful ears.

Winners in the "Natural Dog-Eared Photo Contest" received gift certificates to The Humane Society of the United States' online store Humane Domain, which carries a variety of pet products and gifts for pet lovers. The winning photos and a slide show of contest entries are available for viewing on the HSVMA website at hsvma.org.

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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.