For the last few months pet lovers had entered their best pet photos, and then there was online voting for the 12 most calendar caliber pets.
This was the second year for the Animal Refuge Center "Pet Pin-Up" Photo Calendar Contest, which served as a major fund-raising tool for the local shelter last year.
The top winner was "Gracie At The Beach" after thousands of votes were tabulated.
Gracie At The Beach was the top winner in the ARC Pet Calendar Contest.
The 12 most popular pets will be part of a calendar now in process of being prepared to print a great gift for a great cause, said ARC Board Trustee Diane Zabell. "This could be a holiday gift, a gift for friends, family and co-workers.
"The calendar is available online now at animalrefuge.com and will be at the Animal Refuge Center, selected business establishments and at all ARC events including our Starlight Auction on Nov. 26." That auction event is the largest fund raiser for the group all year, always held over Thanksgiving weekend.
"Throughout this economic downturn so many families have had to give up their animals," Zabell sid. "ARC has opened its arms to the community and taken in as many animals that we possibly can. The result in turn has been that costs have went up as well."
Calendar sales will great help their mission, she said.
"Dog Gracie was at her favorite doggie beach," said Zabell of the winner. "She's one year old, and she loves everyone, and everyone that knows her loves her."
The winning pets are now in the photo studio, a prize to all the winners by local SandBar Photography.
A $150 value, it a family photo session by the business. Other prizes were donated by Paw-radise Estero Pet Grooming and Bakery, Tender Magic Pet Grooming, a hand-painted, customized dog or cat dish by Cassandra M. Designs and gift cards by PETCO.
"Our wonderful people at Arthur Printing in Cape Coral are putting together a collage of the entries," said Zabell. "Every pet is a winner in their owner's eyes."
She said she hopes the community will help by supporting the calendar.
Incorporated in 1988, Animal Refuge Center is a not-for-profit, no kill animal welfare society, dedicated to caring for all homeless animals brought to its care at its 22 _ acre sanctuary in North Fort Myers.
The sanctuary houses a Welcome Center, Canine Training Center, 12 feline facilities, 29 canine lodges and is home to more than 350 cats and 60 dogs available for adoption. For more information and for more on the winners go to animalrefuge.com or call 731-3535.