Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

July 13, 2012

Do you have the cutest cat in Western New York?

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — In the battle between the superiority of canines and felines, owners and experts disagree. The only thing animal lovers all agree on is that our four-legged friends are as important as any other member of the family. Western New York is about to hold its first Bark For Life for the American Cancer Society, and cat owners will be able to participate in their own unique way.

According to the Humane Society, there are 78.2 million dogs and 86.4 million cats owned in the United States. Even those who are not currently living with animals succumb to cute pictures of puppies and kitties with the usual “Aw, how cute!”  We are a nation of animal lovers and swear by the loyalty and devotion we receive in return.

When the Bark For Life, a fundraiser for the ACS, takes place Aug. 5 at Day Road Park in Lockport, pet owners will have their beloved canines on leash, ready to take a one-mile walk to celebrate and remember those who have faced cancer and to “bark back” in the cancer fight. Dirk Markee, a canine survivor of a lymphoma diagnosis and 26 chemotherapy treatments, will lead the walk. While the dogs are always happy to be out for a showing and a stroll, imagine trying to harness a house cat for the mission!

Instead, proud cat owners can get their cats involved in the fundraising efforts and bragging rights by entering the Kute Kitty Kontest at the Bark For Life. For a $5 donation, pet owners can submit a photo of their pampered pet and the photos will be posted on display at the Bark For Life event. Attendees at the event can “vote” for their favorites by putting a donation in the kitty’s kitty. The feline deemed most adorable by the crowd will win a special prize, have their photo re-printed in the newspaper, and will remain the Top Kat until next year’s event. Of course, all the money goes to the American Cancer Society to help and protect all the loved ones in our lives, including those beloved pets.

To enter the Kute Kitty Kontest, email a photo (jpeg format) to juliechatterbox45 a.m., with auction winners announced after. You do not have to be present for the basket auction drawing.

The Bark For Life is being co-chaired by Jenn Markee of the Lockport Relay for Life and Candy Mye of Grand Island. They hope to bring Relayers from all the Western New York events to the Bark, in a unique salute to four-legged companions. While the dogs may have the run of the park, the kitties will participate with their own little beauty pageant for the cause. In this contest to fight cancer, everybody wins!

Do you know a man, woman or teen who goes that extra mile to make our world a better place? Is there an event that shows that heart of our community? There are a lot of people in our communities who do things without being asked and without expecting thanks. Keep those nominations coming and maybe we’ll shine the Spotlight their way. Send your information or nomination to the address below and we’ll turn on the light; juliechatterbox@msn.com or Julie Obermiller, 8691 Lake Road No.9, Barker NY 14012.