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March 18, 2010

The HSUS Announces Winners of Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest

Dagnabit the dog of New Orleans, La. singled out from more than 32,000 entries

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, is pleased to announce the winners of the third annual Spay Day Online Pet Photo Contest, presented by Visa, Inc. and Zazzle. The contest featured awards in two categories — a winner selected by a panel of judges and a winner determined by the amount of money raised for spay/neuter programs.

With more than 32,000 entries in the judged category, a panel of celebrity judges faced a daunting task, but in the end, the photo and description of Kim Dudek's dog Dagnabit of New Orleans, La., carried the day. The 2010 celebrity panel was comprised of photographer and "America's Next Top Model" judge Nigel Barker and pet portrait photographers Lori A. Cheung, Andrew Darlow and David Sutton.

Dudek  receives a studio session with Amanda Jones, one of the country's premier pet photographers; a $500 shopping spree at Humane Domain, The HSUS' official online store; and a copy of "Pet Photography 101: Tips for taking better photos of your dog or cat" by Andrew Darlow.

This description of Dagnabit submitted by Jones captured the judges' hearts and imagination: "We've been thru it all together! Dag was stolen and made to fight & had his ears cut off, we survived Katrina & his disability. Dag's spirit inspires me to make the most out of every moment, every day."

In the fundraising category, Aurelian Stefan, DVM, and her dog Ciao of Bucharest, Romania, won by raising more than $32,000 for Romania Animal Rescue, Inc., in Bucharest.

As the grand prize winner in the fundraising category, Stefan receives a weekend trip for two to Hollywood for the 2011 Genesis Awards, a custom painting of Ciao by pet portrait artist Janie Coleman, and a $500 electronic gift card to Humane Domain.

This is Stefan's description of Ciao: "He would wag his tail if you simply looked at him ... and he was only one of the many, many dogs abandoned at the gas stations in Romania. They are dying for our attention..."

"We congratulate the winners of both categories, and thank all the thousands of people who submitted wonderful photos of their cherished family pets," said John Snyder, vice president of Companion Animals for 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."

The 32,000 entrants to the photo contest collectively raised $527,000 to support the spay/neuter programs of The HSUS, Humane Society International, and nearly 300 local organizations around the globe.

The online photo contest is one component of The HSUS' Spay Day celebration. Spay Day is sponsored by Trimline Veterinary Recovery Collar and 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.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

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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