(This story by Zack Steen originally appeared in the Daily Corinthian. It is appearing here with permission.)
Every dollar counts at the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter.
The local no-kill animal shelter launched their 2018 pet calendar photo contest earlier this week and set a $6,500 fundraising goal for the project.
In its fifth year, the funds raised from the photo contest and calendar sales go to the shelter to help continue providing care to the thousands of abused, neglected, abandoned and injured animals in the Crossroads area.
“The calendar fundraiser is our biggest of the year,” said volunteer director Charlotte Doehner. “We’re getting started this year one month earlier than normal and look forward to seeing the many cute pet photo entries we are sure to receive.”
Photos can be entered at calendar.alcornpets.com.
The online-based contest allows pet lovers to enter a photo of their cat, dog, horse, small mammal or bird.
Each entry is $15 and includes a guarantee the entered photo will appear somewhere in the full color, full-sized wall calendar.
Entrants can then vote for their photo for $1 per vote with a five vote minimum or share their photo on social media and ask for votes.
“We set a goal this year of $6,500,” added Doehner. “It may seem high, but in 2017 the same contest raised $6,492, not including sponsor contributions, which helped offset printing costs.”
The photo with the most votes at the end of the contest period will be the grand prize winner.
The grand prize winning pet will receive a professional photo session with local photographer Bill Avery. Shelter staff will select two photos from the photo session to be featured on the cover of the calendar and as a pet of the month inside the calendar. The original winning photo will also appear in the calendar.
The grand prize winner will also receive five free calendars and be the featured pet in all promotions for the shelter’s 2019 calendar fundraiser.
The next 11 photos with the most votes will be featured as a pet of the month inside the calendar.
“The best part is everyone who enters the contest is a winner,” said Doehner.
The director said all eligible photo submissions will appear in the calendar as inset squares on the monthly calendar pages. Each entrant will also receive one free calendar.
Photos entered must contain only pets, as those submitted with humans will be disqualified.
“We want this calendar to be top quality, so we’re again asking photos that are submitted to be in focus and not altered,” she said.
Other photo guidelines calls for only high resolution (at least 6MB or higher) photos be submitted in .JPEG format.
The online submission and voting period ends on July 31 at 10 p.m.
Although the online method of entry is preferred, Doehner said the shelter will accept mail-in and in-person entries through July 25 at their Proper Street location.
Each photo submission must include a note with name, phone number, pet’s name and a brief description of the pet attached to the back of the photo.
Those photos will appear online for voting within 48 hours of receipt.
The 2017 calendar featured former shelter recuse Rupert Sayre, a small fawn-colored “Heinz 57” terrier mix belonging to Cotter and Linda Sayre of Corinth.
Rupert received more than 770 votes in last year’s contest.
The production of last year’s calendar was delayed by more than two months due to shipping errors by the printer.
Doehner said because of the delay, she will issue a free 2018 calendar entry code to the top-13 vote getters from the 2017 contest.
“It’s just another way for us to say sorry and thank you at the same time,” she said.
The free entry code will be emailed to the top-13 participates next week.
The shelter is also offering other ways to help with the calendar project.
Friend of the Shelter sponsors allows a person to reserve a day in the calendar to honor their animal.
“One idea is to celebrate your pet’s forever home day,” said Doehner.
Each day is $25 and entrants will receive a free calendar.
Calendar sponsorships will also return this year.
For a $50 donation, the sponsor will receive a 2×2 square block which will appear along the bottom of each month.
(Entries can be submitted at calendar.alcornpets.com or mailed/dropped off at 3825 Proper Street, Corinth, MS., 38834. For more information, contact 662-415-8641.)