by: PHOTO COURTESY: OREGON HUMANE SOCIETY - This poster encouraging people to spay or neuter their pet wins first place for Carlie Hughes, a junior at Milwaukie High School.North Clackamas School District students’ creativity in artistic and written work produced a surprising number of winners in the Oregon Humane Society’s 64th-annual Be Kind to Animals Poster and Story Contest.

Carlie Hughes, a junior at Milwaukie High School, won first place for her poster with intricately drafted drawings to show each hair on six cats and encouraging people to spay or neuter their pet. As a top grade winner, she’s eligible for the grand-prize award to be announced during a special ceremony, “the A’Cat’emy Awards,” on Sunday, April 21.

Sophie Gingrich, a first grader at View Acres Elementary, won second place for her poster; Kora Wietrzynska, a senior at Milwaukie High School, won third for her poster; Kristin Connelly, a seventh grader at Rock Creek Middle School, won third for her story; Josie Christensen, a senior at Milwaukie Academy of the Arts, won the contest’s only special award; and Amanda Owren and Dana Barbee, juniors at New Urban High School, got a second-place award and an honorable mention respectfully, for their stories.

Owren’s story, “A hopeful dream,” illustrated that cats and dogs with owners generally live longer and healthier lives than strays with the opening paragraph:

‘Twas a dark and stormy night, and the dogs and cats alike huddle in their cages and pens, preparing for the imminent and terrifying thunderstorm. Amber eyes glint in the darkness, shining from beneath the tattered ears of a lanky, lean dog with straw coloured fur. With a brave, slightly gruff voice, he asks: “Have you ever walked through your neighborhood, and truly taken a look around? Have you even realized that we’re there?

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