We all love Midas, Dogs on Deployment's mascot. I mean, who wouldn't? Look at that face!
But, did you know that your dog could be our mascot? In our annual Military Pet of the Year (MPOTY) competition, we ask our military members to show off their pets, and their families. Then, as a community, we chose a new dog to represent our mission.
Last year, it was service dog, Midas. Owner, Juan Valdez speaks highly of the experience of being DoD's MPOTY.
"The most important part of being the mascot for DoD was being able to share Midas's story with an audience," he says. "Being the mascot gave us the platform to inform people of the benefits of using dogs to help heal people."
He adds that the experience wasn't all for Midas and helping others: "being the mascot has given me direction in life; now I can help veterans get the help they need in order to succeed in the future."
Your application must include documentation proving military status, basic information, a photo for the contest and 500 words on why your dog should be Dogs on Deployment's 2015 Military Pet of the Year and Mascot.
Example topics: how did you get the dog, any difficulties you’ve had with the dog and your service commitments, any illness/accidents your dog has overcome, how do you exhibit being a responsible pet owner in the military, etc. This essay will be used as a caption for your dog’s photo during voting.
Your entry will be reviewed by the Dogs on Deployment Board to ensure compliance with our below requirements. Any entry which does not meet the below requirements will be disqualified from the competition. Entries may be made beginning January 17, 2015 at 7 am EST and be submitted until January 31, 2015 at 7:00 pm EST at which time submissions will be closed. Voting will commence from February 7, 2015 at 7:00 am EST and close on February 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm EST, and each person is allowed one vote within a 24-hour period. The Dogs on Deployment Board will then pick the winner from the top three finalists receiving the most amounts of popular votes. The winner will be announced on March 1st at 7:00 am EST.
Entry and Photo Requirements:
- Dogs only
- May be any adult breed dog (over 1 year old)
- Dog must be spayed or neutered unless involved with responsible dog showing or breeding
- Dog must be owned by an active duty or reservist military member or honorably discharged veteran
- Must be a family pet who meets our “Code of a Military Pet Owner” (see below)
- Photo must be high resolution (prefer no phone photos, +200dpi, larger than 1200px by 1200px, print quality)
- Portrait or candid style photo of military owned dog
- No more than two dogs may be shown in the photo for a single entry
- No humans allowed in photo
- Professional photographs preferred
- Photo must be original to owner
- Photo permissions must be given to Dogs on Deployment for reuse
- Contestants may not pay for votes, or use online pay-advertising to promote voting
- Must be willing to be photographed in uniform with your dog for Dogs on Deployment imagery
- Must be willing to maintain a Facebook page for Dogs on Deployment's 2015 Military Pet of the Year and Mascot for one year
- Must be willing to attend local events and speak on behalf of Dogs on Deployment to potential media contacts