The 26th annual A Voice for Animals Contest is now closed for entries and the judges are hard at work reading entries from around the world. The winners will be announced here by Wednesday, June 1st 2016.
Check out what past winners are doing to make a difference for animals…
A Voice for the Voiceless
Sneha Ayyagari is a junior at Coppell High School in Coppell, TX. Using the money earned from the A Voice for the Animals Essay contest and birthday money, Sneha and her sister Raga founded the Louie Foundation in loving memory of their dog Louie, a rescued puppy mill survivor whose resilience in the face of physical and emotional challenges greatly inspired them. As a testament to Louie and countless other animals and children without a voice, the Louie Foundation works to shed light on issues related to the welfare of animals, wildlife and children by supporting organizations dedicated to these causes through fund raising, volunteerism, and education. The organization’s current project Kitabu for Kids has raised enough money to provide hundreds of textbooks for children in need in Tanzania. The Louie Foundation has made a tangible difference in the world, granting a voice to the voiceless.
In high school, Sofia Prado founded Huaperros, a shelter and clinic in Monterrey Mexico, for stray and companion animals specializing in dogs. Sofia has helped 144 animals including 110 dogs who have been adopted, rehomed, vaccinated, spayed and neutered, or returned to their owners; she also created an educational handbook to empower students to help animals which she distributed widely in her community.
Sofia has been involved in numerous campaigns around Mexico to address overpopulation and animal neglect. She ran a free spaying and neutering campaign with Fundacion Luca where 55 dogs and 11 cats were sterilized and co-organized the first "Adoption Expo" in Monterrey for dog adoption, fundraising, and public education. Sofia was chosen to participate in "Pedigree Adoptame," the Mexican version of the Pedigree Adoption Drive, as one of 32 shelter owners from around Mexico. Sofia plans to expand her efforts and continue to have an immense impact for animals.
Alexander "Zander" Srodes has been teaching students about sea turtle conservation since he was 11 and has developed a turtle activity book, Turtle Talks, now translated into six languages and read by more than 200,000 children in 10 countries. Zander has interned at SEE Turtles and plans to promote turtle conservation in the U.S. and the Caribbean by expanding the content and reach of his turtle activity book and organizing educational campaigns for students. He's also launching a website, TurtleTalks.org, and developing a program to match schools near turtle nesting sites with schools in the U.S. to encourage educational exchange and support for turtle conservation efforts.
Winner: 2008 Best Personal & Active Involvement: Turtle Talks
Bird Rescuer & Researcher
Jennifer was 14 when she started her own bird rescue. She did a lot of research and later took a 12 week course which included 8 hours in a veterinary clinic doing hands on training; she then got her Certification as a Veterinary Assistant. Since then, she has done an extensive amount of research on the needs of birds including: behavioral issues, nutritional needs, illnesses and diseases, physical and psychological trauma. She has her own YouTube and specializes in resolving plucking and aggressive behaviors. She has rescued, rehabilitated and re-homed over 600 birds and in 2011 built a large outdoor aviary for flight and enrichment for rescued birds and opened a facility to house 40+ birds. She has also built an indoor aviary. She plans to build 20ft aviaries in 2012. Her group provides educational programs and seminars. She plans to be an avian veterinarian.