Foundation holds animal heroes contest | News

VALDOSTA — The Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals has opened its Second Annual Animal Welfare Heroes Contest.

The contest started Jan. 1 and ends noon, Feb. 15, organizers said in a statement. The 2023 contest is open to individuals working in animal rescue from South Georgia and North Central Florida.

The foundation stated, “Our opinion is that South Georgia and North Central Florida is blessed to have many animal welfare heroes who are seldom recognized for their altruism and that is the purpose of our contest. Last year, the foundation had numerous nominees who wished to participate in our contest, while other individuals did not consider themselves worthy and they withdrew their nominations. In the foundation’s opinion, most of the individuals who were nominated were deserving of recognition.”

The rules for the Animal Welfare Heroes Contest are posted on the foundation’s website at

Short biographies of the nominees will be posted as the contest proceeds, organizers said.

The contest is designed to recognize volunteers who often go unrecognized but are in the trenches regularly, ranging from writing grants, raising funds to pay the veterinarian bills, physically pulling and saving dogs from the shelter, assisting with spaying and neutering, fostering animals, adopting , attending adoption events, vetting and medical coordination, conducting home visits to qualify a new home, recruiting volunteers, promoting the animals for adoption, advertising adoption events and fundraising events, managers of all of the activities, managers of the cash flow, people pushing local, state and federal government laws, people donating items, time and money, cleaning cages, dog training, transporting, finding lost animals, etc., organizers said.

“In short, it takes a village to be successful in animal welfare,” according to the foundation.

Prof. Burton Fletcher, JD, MBA (Ret.), the founder, president and executive director of the Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, said, “We are grateful to the volunteers in our community and it is my foundation’s wish to support these wonderful individuals and to recognize them for their service to the animal welfare community.”

Finally, the foundation stated, “We wish to acknowledge and thank Dr. April Mathis, DVM, and Dr. Michael A. Delaney, DVM, of Azalea City Animal Hospital, Clarence Spiers of ReMax Realty and Attorney Tim Conlon of the Conlon Law Group, Philip Gutherie of Colson Printing Company, DesignMaze website developers, Deb Enfinger of Fairway Outdoor LLC, Diane Hotchkiss of Sunrise Irrigation and Landscaping, John K. Dukes Jr., CPA, Arthur Rush of Berry Global, for their generous donations that benefit animal welfare in our community.”