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Help a local animal shelter with your vote

mishaYour vote can help a local animal shelter win $500. Each year, the Helen Woodward Animal Center holds an essay contest for the participating Iams Home 4 the Holidays organizations.  The Center awards $500 to the shelter or rescue group with the winning adoption story.  This year, the Center received information about 1,363,638 pets that were adopted during the 11th annual Iams Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive and is requesting the public’s help to choose the most heart-warming pet adoption story of the year. Votes can be cast by visiting Voting ends March 1, at 12 noon PST.

Misha, who was adopted from a local shelter, is among the finalists: Misha is a Tortie-point Siamese mix. In May 2009, the trailer park in Etna, NY, that Misha’s then-owners lived in was condemned due to a faulty septic system and all residents were permanently evacuated.  She and two of her kittens were abandoned, left in the remnants of these condemned trailers to fend for themselves. This young mother and her kittens stayed there, believing that their family would come back for them.  Day after day, month after month, they waited, but no one ever came back to claim them. That is until the Lucky Day Cat Rescue team stepped in. Read the rest of Misha’s story at and cast your vote in the Iams Home 4 the Holidays contest.

More than 3,900 animal shelters and pet rescue organizations in 17 countries joined paws to save the lives of orphaned pets during this 11th annual IH4TH campaign October 1, 2009, through January 4, 2010. Each group was invited to submit their best pet adoption success stories.

“There are so many great stories about pets that were saved during the holiday season. Now they’re starting the New Year with a new, ‘leash’ on life,” says Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, CA and creator of the international, “Iams Home 4 the Holidays” (IH4TH) pet adoption drive. “We’ve narrowed this down to the top five. Between now and February 28 we’re asking people to vote on their favorite story. The animal shelter or rescue group that submitted the winning entry will receive a $500 donation from Helen Woodward Animal Center.”

Arms reminds animal lovers, “One vote per person. This isn’t about which organization can convince the most people to vote. It’s about which story touches your heart.”

To read the top five stories and cast your vote log on to and click on “Global.”