Thursday, June 20, 2024

Furry Friends Feature: Paws and Pose — Local Pet Photo Contest to Capture Hearts

Have a dog that smiles, a cat with the crankiest annoyed face, a cuddly kitten or a doting small pet? It’s time for the fourth annual Hello Summer Pet Photo Contest at The Heritage Humane Society. In addition to accepting submissions and votes, new for this year, 13 winners will also be included in a pet photo contest calendar.

From laugh out loud to heartwarming, the Hello Summer Pet Photo Contest welcomes entries for the same types of pets that can be adopted from The Heritage Humane Society, although the pet does not have to have been adopted from the animal shelter. Submissions are open to dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and small critters, including rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs.

Enter to win, vote to support

The Hello Summer Pet Photo Contest might just be this year’s toughest election based on the last three years of funny, sweet and outrageous pet moments submitted.

The contest is open at 7 a.m. on May 20 and concludes at 5 p.m. on June 17. To enter, upload a photo of a furry (or not-so-furry) friend to the Hello Summer Pet Photo Contest entry portal.

Photo submissions are $3 per photo. One pet only per photo. No people can appear in the photos. Multiple pets may be entered in individual photos. The pet does not have to have been adopted from The Heritage Humane Society. It also does not have to reside in Williamsburg/James City County.

Votes are $1 each. And, yes, pet parents can vote for their own pets. All funds raised go directly to the care of the homeless pets at The Heritage Humane Society, Greater Williamsburg’s largest annual shelter.

A bounty of prizes

Throughout the contest, mini prizes will be awarded each Friday at 5 p.m. to the highest-voted pet of that week.

The shelter’s Hello Summer Pet Contest is in partnership with Nicole Moyer from Sweet Ellie Photography for the online photo contest. The studio specializes in creating meaningful artwork that features people’s pets knowing they hold an irreplaceable place in their human companions’ hearts.

Last year’s winners were Finlee, Moo, and Duffy. Moo was the first cat to ever be a winner. The rest of the winners have been dogs. Perhaps 2024 will find even other types of pets standing on the winners’ podium.

The 2023 winners were Moo, Finlee and Tucker, and Duffy.

New this year, 365 of winners

In addition to the top 13 overall winners, new in 2024, the Hello Summer Pet Photo Contest will also include a pet photo contest calendar. The first-place winner will appear on the cover of the calendar. The remaining 12 winners will each appear in a month throughout the calendar.

Sweet Ellie Photography will provide photo sessions for each of the 13 contest winners. Photo sessions will be held on specified dates and at specified locations around Williamsburg/James City County. For winners wishing to customize their free session, there will be an option to upgrade for a fee. Upgrades will be worked out between Sweet Ellie Photography and the contest winners. Contest winners will have the opportunity to purchase their own session artwork for an additional fee. Complimentary photo sessions are non-transferable.

Camera-ready, adoptable pets

The shelter is filled with homeless pets who are eager to have forever homes and a spot in this year’s photo contest.

Nearly 180 dogs, cats and small pets are currently in their care. Adoptable pets are available to meet during The Heritage Humane Society’s visiting and adopting hours from noon to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

To learn more, visit, call 757-221-0150, or visit The Heritage Humane Society located at 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

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