Critter Competition helps kids save furry lives | ParkRecord.com

Critter Competition helps kids save furry lives

Liz Yokubison

If your children are already looking for "something to do" this summer, then Friends of Animals Utah (FOAU) has the answer. Their very first "Youth Critter Competition," created in partnership with Arts Kids, encourages kids of all ages to stimulate their creative juices and save adoptable animals in the process.

Funded by a grant from the Park City Rotary Club, the competition seeks one-of-a-kind public service announcements (PSA’s) and print advertisements. The ads, designed by kids, are intended to educate the public on the importance of being responsible and compassionate to animals. Entries can be submitted in the following age groups: 3rd-5th grade, 6th-8th grade and 9th-12th grade.

The best advertisements for each age group will be determined by a judging panel comprised of Rotary Club volunteers and FOAU board members. Winning PSA’s will run on PCTV or be broadcast on KPCW. Winning print ads will be published in The Park Record. All winners will be honored at an awards ceremony to be held at the new "Rescue and Rehab Ranch" in Browns Canyon this fall. One exceptional entry will serve as the basis of the Friends of Animals 2011 advertising campaign. There is no cost to participate.

As one of many Park City area nonprofits, Friends of Animals strives for advertising that sets them apart. "The Critter Competition is perfect," says Executive Director, Cathy King. "Kids will come up with something much more clever than we ever would. They don’t over think."

Submitted entries should focus on topics outlined in the contest rules which can be found at http://www.foautah.org . One such topic is animal over population and the subsequent importance of spay and neuter programs in Summit County. With a low cost/no cost spay and neuter clinic at the R&R Ranch, Friends of Animals is one resource in controlling animal overpopulation.

Shelter programs and rescuing adoptable animals is another area of focus. Through FOAU’s adoption center, Furburbia, more than 800 animals are adopted each year. These dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are given a second chance at life by being placed in their forever homes.

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The last topic that could be addressed in a Critter Competition ad is animal safety and humane treatment. "Kids understand the importance of being responsible animal owners and they can show us what they think about their pets." says King. This important message is a key element of the Education and Training Center at R&R Ranch.

According to King, "It’s becoming endless what we can do with animals. There are cats in nursing homes and dogs in dentist offices to calm children when they are nervous. The more we can use animals in these programs, the more animals have a chance to have a purpose."

Ultimately, the Critter Competition is intended to inspire local youth to make a difference in the lives of companion animals. "I really hope this program will help kids understand that what they think and do is so important," says King. "If you are a child and you really love dogs (or cats), you can make a difference in their lives."

For submission forms and guidelines visit http://www.foau.org .

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