Bissell Inc., a vacuum and cleaning product company is holding its third annual Most Valuable Pet contest. From January 1 to March 25, pet owners are welcome to submit photos of their pets for a chance to be featured on Bissell pet product packaging and win a $10,000 donation to the pet charity of his or her choice, as well as a $500 shopping spree.
Entrants can upload their pets’ photos at the company’s website. The top voted pet from each week of the contest will move on to the semi-finals, from which the grand prize and second through fifth prize winners will be selected. Bissell will announce the weekly winners and offer contest news through Twitter and Facebook.
More than 100,000 pets were entered into the contest in 2008 and 2009, gathering votes from fellow pet lovers, family and friends. To help pet owners garner votes for their photogenic pets, Bissell created a series of custom widgets that can be uploaded to blogs and social networks such as Facebook, helping to win votes and the hearts of the pet’s family and friends.
Last year’s grand prize winner, a Golden Retriever named Norman, is a stud dog for a Columbus, Ohio, service dog program called 4 Paws For Ability. He and his owner, Tara Driscoll, used the $10,000 prize to obtain a seizure-alert dog to assist two special-needs children in their community.
Driscoll, a substitute teacher in the local school system, taught the pair of brothers at their special-needs preschool and has remained in touch with the family as they’ve grown. Now ages six and eight, the boys have been in need of a seizure dog for several years, but the cost of their medication has hindered them from obtaining one.
Thanks to Driscoll and Norman, they now have an additional four paws to assist them.