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Vote for Shelter Pooches in Virtual Dog Show

By Katie Pyzyk

Friday - 6/15/2012, 3:55pm  ET

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA) has entered a wacky video into a virtual dog show contest.

The Best in Shelter contest highlights dogs that have had a hard time being adopted. Four area shelters were chosen to participate, and must submit a video submission for each canine entrant. Visitors to the website vote for their favorite dog based on the video, photos and listed information.

In addition to fulfilling the goal of finding homes for the featured dogs, the shelter with the winning pooch will receive a $50,000 donation. The second and third place winners will receive $25,000 and $15,000, respectively.

Longtime D.C. area resident and New York Times bestselling author Martha Grimes started Best in Shelter last year to bring attention to animal shelters. She is providing the prize money.

“I’m happy that the four animal shelters participating in Best in Shelter will help demonstrate that shelter dogs are the equal to purebred dogs when it comes to looks, love, and loyalty and would be a happy addition to any family,” Grimes said. “We hope this will encourage people who have not considered adopting a pet from a shelter to visit their local shelter to look at the dogs.”

AWLA made the special video (above) for Gaston, a four-year-old American Bulldog mix, because he has been there for so long. Shelter officials hope the publicity from this contest might help to find Gaston a good home. AWLA’s other entrants are Molly, Pooh Bear and Rumor.

Another Arlington-based organization, Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation is also a contender for the prize money. It entered Daphne, Harley, Cowboy and Pepper.

Voting takes place from now until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. Anyone may vote, but there is a limit of one vote per day. Winners will be announced sometime next week.