HSVMA Contest Highlights Natural Tails, Issue of Cosmetic Surgeries

June 7, 2010

HSVMA is seeking entries for our Tales of the Natural Tail Photo Contest, which highlights the aesthetic and communicative value of a dog's natural—as opposed to docked—tail. This is our second annual event focusing on the issue of cosmetic and convenience surgeries in companion animals, with last year's contest showcasing natural, uncropped dog ears. Other cosmetic and convenience procedures in companion animals include devocalization and declawing.

Terrier with ball
Help HSVMA celebrate the natural beauty and expression of a dog's tail.

One of HSVMA's primary focuses is to educate the public about cosmetic and convenience procedures, specifically detailing the health risks involved and providing information about available alternatives.

Dog caregivers, either owners or foster care providers, are encouraged to submit photo entries online through July 31, 2010. Photos should feature a dog with a natural tail and, if the photo does not show the dog's face, a second photo illustrating the dog's face is requested. Captions should accompany the photos to help describe the special qualities of the dog's tail.

The top 10 entries will be named finalists in the Tales of the Natural Tail Photo Contest and will be selected based on how well the photo illustrates the beauty or communicative value of the tail and how well the caption describes the tail's special qualities. From the finalists, a panel of judges will select a first, second and third-place winner. Judges include artist Ron Burns, author and radio show host Tracie Hotchner, and Dr. Gary Block, a veterinarian who serves on the HSVMA Leadership Council.

Winners will receive a $100, $50 and $25 gift card respectively to the Humane Domain, which features a variety of dog toys, leashes, beds and other companion animal items. Winners will be announced in August, and winning photos will be posted on The HSUS and HSVMA websites.

A flyer promoting the contest is also available for download to post in veterinary clinics, animal shelters, adoption venues, dog parks and other locations frequented by dogs and their caregivers.