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Last updated: February 17. 2014 3:09PM - 664 Views

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They’re absolutely adorable, and picking a winner, or actually five of them, is going to be a difficult assignment. But pick them you must if you want a voice in who will be this year’s winner of The Sampson Independent’s Cutest Pets Contest.


Voting is already under way, and every pet owner with an animal in the contest is hoping you will select theirs as most deserving of the accolade. What’s more they hope you’ll tell your friends and they’ll tell their friends and so on down the line until one particular animal finds itself way ahead of the pack come midnight on Feb. 28, when voting will end and winners will be announced.


There are already many gorgeous animals competing in the contest, sponsored this year by our good friends — and tremendous community supporters — at Clinton Appliance and Furniture Company, Piggly Wiggly, Matthews, the Real Bail Ladies of Sampson County and Ellis Lewis Auto, but there’s still time left to get your own little furry baby registered and garner enough votes for the grand prize.


But time is a wastin’ now, so don’t procrastinate too much longer if you want your little cutie to be considered among the dozens of others already vying for the prizes — $100 to the grand prize winner and $50 each for four others — and of course those ever sought-after braggin’ rights.


To vote and to register is a simple process that starts by visiting www.clintonnc.com and clicking on the Cutest Pets icon. Then just follow the instructions to get your animal into the competition or to begin voting, or both.


Voting and entering is completely free. All one has to have is a valid email address and the desire to have a little fun to either enter or cast your votes.


Each verified account may place up to five votes in a 24-hour period, but automated voting of any kind is not allowed.


But we’ll go ahead and warn you — if you haven’t perused the contestants yet — that selecting the cutest will be no easy task. They are all some of the cutest animals we’ve ever seen, so cute, in fact, that you want to just scoop them up and snuggle with them.


There’s Blueberry and Gabby, Sassy and Isabelle Marie , Loki, the God of Mischief, the adorable Tsi Tzu bunch - Raleigh, Carolyn, Hattie, Charlotte and Bentley. Then there’s cute little JuBec, Frosty and Marilyn, the Princess and Herman, Paisley Dixon and Kryptonite and Rock, just to name a few. All are cute and longing to be chosen as the Cutest of them all.


So far we have dogs, large and small, and a few cats, but there’s room for the horses and bunnies and even reptiles too. Each one is worthy of the title, but only one can win. And it’s up to you to select which one of the them all will be the very cutest of all.


So visit our website today and start voting. Email your friends, send a Facebook message or both, and tweet up a storm, garnering all the support you can for the animal you think most adorable of all.


Then watch next for the winners to be announced the first week of March.


And, most importantly, have fun doing it. It’s what we and our sponsors, Clinton Appliance, Ellis Lewis Auto, the Real Bail Ladies of Sampson, Piggly Wiggly and Matthews want most from this contest — for the community to enjoy the competition and get involved.


We hope you do.


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