February 10, 2010

Happy Spays Are Here Again

You’ve got less than two weeks to sort through all of those adorable pet photos clogging up your hard drive and pick the best one(s) to enter into this year’s Spay Day Online Photo Contest. Hosted by the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International -- with big time sponsors Visa and Zazzle -- this cool contest raises funds for Spay Day on February 23, an annual event to inspire people to save animals' lives by spaying or neutering cats and dogs (rabbits too).

The contest has two sets of winners. The first is determined by the amount of money raised by sharing your pet’s photo and “story” with your friends and family (each vote is just a $1 donation). The second is decided by a panel of celebrity judges (including Nigel Barker, photographer and judge on America’s Next Top Model). Think of the two awards as "People's Choice" and "Judge's Selection" (they should hire me to sort out their nomenclature, no?).

There are loads of prizes you can win in each category including a weekend trip for two to Hollywood to attend the Genesis Awards, a professional studio session for your pet, various gift certificates for you and your pet, and, last but not least, bragging rites for having your pet featured on The Humane Society homepage in March.

The contest isn’t limited to just dogs and cats either. You can also enter -- this is great -- rabbits, horses, burros (!), donkeys, mules, miniature horses, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets, mice, rats, canaries, budgies, cockatiels, zebra finches, society finches, lovebirds, and freshwater aquarium fish (no saltwater species, please: sharks need not apply). There’s some stiff competition out there already, including top dog “Cupidon” and "Granny" the cat tied with 1,650 votes apiece. What a race!

Go here to submit a photograph of your pet and answer a brief questionnaire, including “my person,” “nickname,” “favorite thing to do” and “most endearing bad habit.” You’ve got until 5 p.m. EST Feb. 26. And not a minute more. You can also click here to find a Spay Day event in your area.

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