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February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month and Prevent a Litter Month, making Sunday, February 12, especially memorable for me, when I attended the Dog Writers Association of America’s Awards Banquet in New York City.
Late last year, while filing entries for the DWAA’s Annual Writing Competition, I entered a blog post I had published in August 2016 to be considered for the North Shore Animal League America Special Award for a piece titled “Desert Paws” about a successful Spay and Neuter program in New Mexico.
(see Link below).
Unlike entries in the Regular Categories, the names of those who receive a Special Award/Grant are not revealed until the day of the Awards Banquet. I knew, for instance, I had been nominated in the Art and Short Fiction Categories, and that alone was truly exciting.
At the event, I was also fortunate to be part of a speakers panel featuring Carol Bryant of Blog Paws, Maggie Bradburn Marton, Amy Tokcic for a writing seminar offered by the DWAA. Topics included navigating the publishing industry, pet blogging and utilizing Social Media effectively. I was also thrilled to receive a Maxwell Medallion for my Short Story Second Chances and also presented the first-ever Captain Wm. Lewis Judy Award to Bud Buccone for his video, “My Buddy” honoring Military Dogs of WWII!
I haven’t blogged much these days as I’ve been focusing on book length projects, however, if my posts can make a difference, I hope to do more of this in the coming year.
Preventing unplanned and ultimately unwanted litters of cats and dogs is the truest rescue there is. There will always be displaced and unhomed companion animals, however, if the unplanned pet population is reduced through Spay and Neuter initiatives, those pets that find themselves without homes will be fewer in number and will benefit from healthier and happier shelter and foster experiences. Please support those who are working so hard to make the world a better place for humans and animals, like the folks at Desert Paws.
To read the winning post for the North Shore Animal League America Award:
To Read Second Chances (Maxwell Medallion Award for Short Fiction):