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Winners Announced in 2011 Michigan Legislature Pet Photo Contest

LANSING, Mich.—The furry companions of several state legislature employees received their vote of approval as the winners of the 2011 Michigan Legislature Pet Photo Contest. The Humane Society of the United States, on behalf of its more than 370,000 members in The Mitten State, congratulates the winners and thanks all the Michigan state legislators, staff members and pets who participated in the contest.

Reggie, a fluffy gray feline expert in the art of relaxation owned by House of Representatives staff member Katie Lindt, received the prize for “Most Adorable Cat.” The prize for “Most Adorable Dog” went to Josie, the black-and-white shelter rescue who enjoys playing fetch at the lake with her owner, House staff member Emily Arents.  Muffin, a special-needs hamster owned by Senate staff member Dennis Denno, received the honor of “Most Adorable Furry or Feathered Friend.”

“Michigan’s legislators and staff face daunting challenges every session. The HSUS wants to recognize their most loyal of all constituents, their animal companions whose unconditional love helps relieve the stress of governing our state,” said Jill Fritz, Michigan state director for The HSUS. “Legislators and staff members alike expressed their joy about being able to share their pets’ photos and stories when submitting them for the contest.”

The contest judges, Capital Area Humane Society Executive Director Julia Palmer and WILX NBC News 10 Lansing Meteorologist Darrin Rockcole, reviewed the submissions and chose the top photos. Entrants included a wide variety of breeds, shapes and sizes, and their owners represented a cross-section of the political spectrum—reinforcing the fact that Michiganders and their elected officials may disagree on some issues, but they all vote “yes” to loving their pets.

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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.