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Pet Idol is back

Heidi Ward-McGrath with Lily, a cat being treated at VetCare Masterton. PHOTO/EMILY IRELAND


Emily Ireland

Does your pet like to put it on for the camera?

If so, they may be a perfect candidate for the 2018 Vetcare Pet Idol photo competition.

Entries are now open for the competition, which is running in partnership with the Wairarapa Midweek and with sponsorship from Nutrience pet food.

The competition last ran in 2014 and received a “wonderful response from the community”, according to Vetcare director Heidi Ward-McGrath.

It is back by popular demand and she can’t wait to see the variety of “loved pets” that are entered into this year’s competition.

“It is always such fun to see photos of people’s pets,” she said.

“It acknowledges that animal-human bond.”

There is a $5 entry fee for the competition, all of which will be donated to Pet Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Wairarapa.

The competition winner will be crowned Vetcare Pet Idol 2018 and will receive a pet prize pack valued at $300.

PAWS Wairarapa is a charity close to Heidi’s heart.

It was set up as a registered charity in 2016.

“[PAWS] stepped in to provide the care that Wairarapa animals needed in the abyss left when the local SPCA could no longer continue to function,” Heidi said.

“We still had people coming in with animals needing care – and they were welfare cases.”

“It was the lamb that just needed antibiotics or some eye cream, a kitten stuck under a house with a broken leg, wildlife injuries; everyday animal welfare needs in our community.

“And so, a group of dedicated people, who have been in the welfare sector for a long time, just did what needed to be done.

“We were action-orientated . . . about providing the nuts and bolts of what was required on the day – a tub of eye cream, some antibiotics, some veterinary care where appropriate.

“It was a great success from the beginning.”

Hundreds of animals have since been helped by PAWS Wairarapa thanks to donations from the community.

“We’re excited to say we are currently empty because we have adopted out every single animal.

“But the new spring season is about to hit us.

“We expect to be called upon again and we are still recovering financially from the load of last year’s welfare animals.”

She said funds raised through the Vetcare Pet Idol photo competition would be very welcome “so that we can have the resources to provide the care that the animals need”.

“[In the competition] we want to see a plethora of different pets: cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, a pet ostrich would be nice, pet lambs.

“We would love to see a huge range of what people consider to be their pet family – the hairier, the spottier, the fluffier the better.”

To enter the competition, email a photo of your pet with your pet’s name, your name, address, and contact phone number to [email protected].

Entries close on Friday, October 26.

All entries will be published in the Wairarapa Midweek on Wednesday November 7.

Voting can be cast either via the Wairarapa Midweek Facebook page on the Pet Idol post, or through the voting form published in the Wairarapa Midweek on November 7.

It is free to vote either way, but only one vote per person will be counted.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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