It’s the final countdown — the Ashtabula County Animal Protective League needs pets to participate in the 2011 calendar fundraiser.

The deadline is Friday.

“Last year, the first year, between entry fees and .25 cent votes, the calendar contest earned nearly $1,000 for the APL,” board secretary Catherine Colgan said.

Pet owners clamored to get their paws on the calendars, which featured many pets adopted from the APL, Colgan said.

“Last year we had more than 50 entries,” she said, “and we are hoping to have a similar turnout for this year’s contest. People love to share photos of their pets, and it’s even better when it’s part of a project for a good cause like APL.”

This year the entry fee is $20 per photo, and each photo entry will be in the calendar and each photo entry gets a free copy of the calendar.

Photos must be of pets only — no human stars in this calendar.

Photos may be submitted electronically to catherine@acapl.org. Digital photos are preferred, and cell phone, Polaroid or copyrighted professional photographs can’t be accepted. Photographs will not be returned.

Do not stamp or write on the back of the photo. High-resolution digital photos must be in JPG or BMP format. Name digital files by the pet’s first and last name. Example — “FidoJones.jpg.”

All entries will be judged by the general public at the Ashtabula Towne Square Adoption Center and the APL website (www.acapl.org). Voting will run from Aug. 6 through Sept. 3. Votes cost .25 cents each and the top 11 photos will be featured as “Pets of the Month.” October will be a highlight the previous year’s Boo Wow walk participants.

All entries must be postmarked by Friday.

Colgan said the calendar is a great way for pet owners to show off their furry friends.

“But it is more than that,” she said. “The calendar has established new relationships with members of the animal-loving community and actually re-established relationships with past APL adopters.”

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