In a quest to get area youngsters to realize the importance of animal care and compassion, Heartsong Animal Rescue is sponsoring an essay contest to coincide with Be Kind to Animals Week, May 3-9.
"This is the first year we have sponsored an essay contest," said Loretta Emmons, president of Heartsong. "Our hope is that as each participant writes about being kind to animals, perhaps they will include family members, talk about the importance of kindness to animals and perpetuate a crusade on behalf of the many abused and neglected animals in our communities."
The contest will be split into age groups -- children ages 8-12 and teens ages 13-17.
Essays must be legibly handwritten or typed and limited to 100-150 words. Entries must focus on ways to be kind to animals and may include the writer's personal stories of how he or she has helped an animal in need.
The contest rules and an entry form are posted on Heartsong's Web site: www.heartsonganimalrescue.com.
"We hope to receive several hundred essays," said Emmons. "Granted, no easy task for the judges, but it would mean that there are children out there who care about the treatment of all pets."
One grand prize winner from each age category will receive $150 and a vaccination package for their pet. Two runners-up from each category will receive $50 and a micro chip and registration package for their pet.
Entries must be postmarked by May 1 and can be mailed to Heartsong: Be Kind to Animals Week Contest, 104 S. Belair Road, Unit 5, Martinez, GA 30907. Entries must include the entrant's name, address and phone number.
"Long term, we hope to make this an annual event and perhaps have other rescue groups join in and make it an educational tool for our young people," said Emmons. "We believe that education of our youth is the best asset we have for making certain that the pets of the future are loved and cared for."
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