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 Blue Ridge Humane Society Announces Winning Entry in  

“Give Us Your Best Shot” Pet Photo Contest

             HENDERSONVILLE, N. C. –The non-profit Blue Ridge Humane Society has named the first and second place winners in their “Give Us Your Best Shot” pet photo contest. The black and white entry featuring the close-up of a golden retriever lying on a deck received the thumbs up from judge Michele Stephenson, former director of photography for TIME Magazine. The picture of Zema, a four-year old Golden Retriever lying on an outside deck that captured the first place winning photo was submitted by Dr. Arthur Pearsall of Hendersonville, N.C.

             “This picture of my son’s dog was taken on his deck in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland just a few months ago,” says Pearsall, who most of his pictures in black and white. “Goldens have very expressive eyes and Zema was the perfect subject.” 

            At home, Pearsall has his own rescue dog, Jake, a Border Collie/Lab mix adopted locally almost eight years ago. A dentist by profession, Pearsall has been involved in photography for more than 30 years.

             “There were so many wonderful portraits of people’s pets to choose from in this contest,” says Stephenson, who came to Hendersonville to judge the contest in conjunction with the organization’s Wags to Riches event. “It was difficult to choose just two winners, but this one picture of the dog on the deck had everything … an immediate connection with the dog along with wonderful texture and composition.”

             The second place winner features an image of a six-month old black lab puppy running at the camera. Submitted by Dave Baker of Mills River, the picture depicts his dog Emily taken in his backyard. The “in flight” action shot was taken as Baker and his wife taught Emily her name by having her race back and forth between them for treats.

             “The second place winning picture spoke to me of the wonderful spirit of the dog,” says Stephenson. “The picture had excellent technical qualities and a sense of energy.”

             The contest, which ran from September 1 to October 14, 2011, had almost 100 entries.  The winners will have their photographs permanently showcased at the Blue Ridge Humane Society shelter location in Edneyville and its thrift shop location in Hendersonville. A local artist will create custom note cards featuring the winning entries and the images will be portrayed on the organization’s web site.

             The Blue Ridge Humane Society, established in 1950 is a limited admission nonprofit 501(c)3 animal welfare organization committed to quality shelter care, treatment of our charges, and to advocacy for spaying/neutering throughout Henderson County. For more details, visit



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