The Lebanon Democrat, as well as Mt. Juliet News and The Hartsville Vidette, have officially kicked off their cutest pets photo contest.
The format for the contest will feature a block of time for photo submissions followed by a block of time for online voting.
Marketing Director Charity Toombs said the online photo submission period began Monday and will last until Feb. 14.
Toombs said everyone is encouraged to submit photos of their furry friends, and there is no restriction on what kinds of pets can participate.
“We want everything from cats and dogs to birds or gerbils,” Toombs said. “I’m even expecting to see some exotic pets.”
Those looking to participate must sign up using Facebook or register in order to submit a photo and vote, and Toombs said each registrant would be able to submit a photo of two different pets. Along with the photo, those participating can also add their pet’s name along with a description.
As of the first submission day Monday, Toombs said there were already more than 25 photos submitted, and she expected to see a record number of submissions throughout the process.
Following the close of the online photo submission period on Valentine’s Day, online voting will then take place Feb. 17-28.
Toombs said there would only be one winner, and the pet with the most votes would be announced March 4. The winning pet is set to receive a $100 gift card to the Lebanon Petco, along with additional prizes from Houndstooth Grooming & Couture and Bubby Bear Bakery.
Toombs said the Petco gift card would be ideal for winners because “there is something for everyone and every pet” there.
There is no purchase necessary for photo submission or voting, but registrants will only receive one vote for their favorite pet.
“There’s no cost to vote or submit; this truly is just for community interaction,” Toombs said. “People love their pets and some people might have more photos of their pets than their children, so we just thought this would be something fun and cheerful to do.”
Participants can submit photos and vote on any of the three newspapers' websites by clicking the “cutest pets photo contest” tab along the top. Participation is also available via Facebook.
Sponsors for the contest include Avenue Animal Hospital, Wiggins Jewelry and New Leash on Life, among others. According to Toombs, all sponsors for the contest are pet-related or pet supporters.
“I really encourage people to participate by submitting a photo and then get online and look around and vote for your favorites,” Toombs said. “Each of these pets is very special in their own right.”