The online cat community blog, We’re All About Cats, invited students across America to submit their essays on feline welfare and the humane treatment of cats. They received nearly a thousand entries but have now chosen a winner of the “A Voice for Cats” scholarship contest.
The winner is Erin Layton, a sophomore at Stockton University in New Jersey who is studying criminal justice. In her spare time, Erin works in the pharmacy at Home Veterinary Services in Belford where she looks after cats who are sent in from the Pet Adoption Network.
Erin wrote a heart-warming story about being shocked by animal cruelty while watching Animal Planet at just four years old, and how this inspired her to go on to volunteer at an animal rescue and show abused cats that humanity has a good side.
The We’re All About Cats judging panel has awarded Erin a prize of $1,000 and an additional $1,000 which will be donated to a rescue organization of Erin’s choosing.
Erin has told We’re All About Cats that the prize money will enable her to pay off her student debts. She has decided to give the other $1,000 to the Pet Adoption Network, a non-profit organization that was founded in 1993 and is based in Red Bank, New Jersey. Over the years, Pet Adoption Network have rescued and re-homed thousands of animals thanks to their network of loving foster homes, dedicated volunteers, and the Adoption Center at the Holmdel Petsmart. Erin deals with the Pet Adoption Network as they send their kitties through to the Home Veterinary Services in Belford, where she works part-time.
Erin commented on what winning this prize means for her:
“To me, winning means being able to afford the extra credits that allow me to graduate in three years, further easing the financial burden of my education on myself and my family. I so deeply appreciate the opportunity to both share a meaningful story and be awarded such a heart-warming scholarship!”
Diane Olszewski, Founder of The Pet Adoption Network has expressed her gratitude to Erin and the We’re All About Cats “A Voice for Cats” scholarship contest:
“We are so grateful to We’re All About Cats, and to Erin Layton for nominating our organization for this generous donation. We rescue new cats and kittens every week, many of them requiring medical care. Our veterinarian is very good to us, which helps us make the most of every donated dollar. But with so many animals needing help, the bills do tend to mount up. This donation is going to make life better for a whole bunch of homeless cats and kittens this autumn, and we (and they) are most appreciative”.
We’re All About Cats founder, Doron Wolfberg, started the annual “A Voice for Cats” scholarship contest as he strongly believes in the importance of higher education. He said:
“By sharing knowledge and information with or followers, we hope to help mitigate animal suffering and improve our pets’ lives. Every article, blog entry, social media post, research project, or essay is a small step towards our goal of better lives for cats.”
We’re All About Cats have published Erin’s winning essay on their blog and accredited it to her. The judges on the panel who crowed Erin winner were Sandy Robins, a leading multi-media celebrity pet lifestyle expert and influencer; Mallory Crusta, a writer and adventure cat enthusiast who’s also one of the founders of Wildernesscat; Marc Andre, the owner and brain behind Katzenworld. According to Wikipedia. Katzenworld is the UK’s biggest blog platform on the subject of cats.