Announcing the More Pets and People Together Statewide Contest Winners
Californians of all ages were invited to join the More Pets and People Together campaign and reflect on what animal companionship means to them and to their community via pencil, crayon, brush, or digital drawing tool, all for a chance to win a $5,000 grant for their animal shelter. The results are in, and we couldn’t choose just one winner. Congratulations to Scarlett Bispo and Uta M.!
More Pets and People Together, No Pets at the Shelter
Acting as judges, California for All Animals Advisory Council members fell in love with each entry, but they especially appreciated eight-year-old Scarlett’s positive vision. Council member Geraldine D’Silva noted the way it invited her to see the world—and the animals and people in it—through a new perspective.
“I put myself in the mind of an eight-year-old child trying to express my love for the human-animal bond and more pets and people together in every little stroke of the pencil to create those wonderful drawings of different animals,” she said.
Scarlett said that to show togetherness she chose to alternate pets and people in equal number, with a pet for each person and a person for each pet. In the past, she’s raised money at a crafts fair to benefit her local shelter, Hitchcock Road Animal Services, and she’s excited they’ll get extra support from the grant prize.
“When you give a helping hand, you always get one back,” Scarlett said. “Like when you adopt a pet from the shelter, you get joy out of it. I feel amazing that so many animals will be helped, and like I moved up another notch in my life and I feel confident that I can help more people and animals!”
More Pets and People Together, More Recharging
Council member Megan Conn admired the way second place winner Uta M.’s entry captured the spirit of the human-animal bond.
“Our pets help us relax and get cozy, reduce stress, relieve loneliness and teach us unconditional love,” she said. “And we too have the capacity to positively affect the lives of animals by showing them kindness. We are better together!”
Uta’s goal was to capture the power of this connection.
“Nothing recharges the soul like quality time with pets at the end of a long day. When people and animals come together, our hearts become open to giving and receiving so much love. With everything that is going on in the world right now, this is the kind of soothing and connection that we all need in our lives.”
She’s happy to award her grant prize to Oakland’s East Bay SPCA.
“We adopted our chunky orange tabby boy Miso (formerly Dynamite) from [them]. Even though it was a busy holiday season and the shelter was packed, all of the staff (from the animal care associates to the front desk receptionists) were super knowledgeable about Miso and shared cute stories about his personality, clearly committed to finding his best match. They even went the extra mile to find a hard carrier for us because they worried he would fall right through a standard cardboard carrier!”
For Uta, it’s important to support pets and people and shelters like the East Bay SPCA who keep and bring them together. Her message to the East Bay SPCA team: “Thank you for a wonderful adoption experience, and thank you for all that you do every day to give animals a life of love and hope.”
All people have connections with their pets
For council member Sheila Donya Kouhkan, reviewing contest entries reaffirmed Californians’ commitment to the animals in their lives.
“One thing that struck me as I viewed all of the beautiful art was the wide range of submissions from people of varying ages and artistic styles. It shows that all people have connections with their pets and everyone feels and deserves the loving companionship of animals. I also greatly appreciated how the art shares a glimpse into the intimate lives of people and their beloved pets behind closed doors. Pets are truly family.”
Visit the contest page to view the full collection of entries. If you’re inspired to share what more pets and people together means to you, post your art and give your shelter a shoutout on social media with the hashtags #PetsandPeopleTogether #MascotasYPersonasUnidas.
To learn more about how you can help keep and bring more pets and people together in your community, start here: 5 things you, your community group, business, shelter, organization, or community can do.