The winners have been announced in Heartsong Animal Rescue's Be Kind to Animals Week Essay Contest.
In the child category ages 8-12, first place winner is Kelly Short, of Evans, who stressed the importance of maintaining trust with our pets. She wrote about adopting animals from shelters to offer them a better life.
First runner-up in the child category is Lynda Caroline Norris, of Evans, who wrote about taking care of pets and related a story about her own cat, Gwyneth. Lynda also wrote that "a person who is kind to animals is also kind to people, and people who are mean to animals are mean to people, too."
Second runner-up in the child category is Mitchell M. Jones, of Augusta, who wrote that one way to be kind to animals is "to volunteer at animal rescue shelters."
Corey Wilder, of Augusta, received an honorable mention. He shared a story about his dog named Pepper who ran away.
First place for the teen category, ages 13-17, is Reagan Britton, 13, of Evans. Reagan noted the importance of caring for pets, which should include veterinary care. Reagan wrote that in being kind to animals "all we have to do is give them a helping hand (or paw) to help them along the way of their amazing journey of loving us."
First runner-up is Heather Grulke, of Grovetown. Heather wrote against abuse and maltreatment of animals in her essay. She also writes about the importance of adopting and how much everyone should appreciate the love and warm, fuzzy feeling one gets from animals.
Second runner-up was Ali Sartain, of Evans, who wrote that pet cruelty must be stopped. Her family adopted their pet from a rescue organization.
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