Who’ll be the cutest pet? That’s up to you!

They’re absolutely adorable, and picking a winner, or actually several 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 March 29, when voting will end. Winners will be crowned a few days later, on April 2, when The Independent staff announces those cuties in the Sunday edition.

There are already over a dozen gorgeous animals competing in the contest, sponsored this year by our good friends — and tremendous community supporters — Performance Dodge, Babcock Home Furniture in Elizabethtown, Perrine, Wiley & Potts Orthodontics and Tram Road Animal Hospital, 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 waning now (there are 12 days left to enter and 12 days left to vote), so don’t procrastinate too much longer if you want your little cutie to be considered among those already vying for the prizes — $100 to each of two overall winners and $50 for the second and third place finisher — and, of course, those always sought-after bragging’ 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.

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. These are, without question, 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 Butterbean and Krytonite, Rocco and Sam, Cooper, Maverick, Pirate, Georgia Belle and Maximus. And that’s just to name a few.

So far we have some bunnies, a few cat and a plethora of dogs, large and small. 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 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 is the most adorable of a rapidly growing group.

Then catch their cute faces in the Sunday, March 26 Sampson Independent before the final week of voting gets under way.

And, most importantly, have fun doing it. It’s what we and our sponsors, Performance Dodge, Babcock Furniture, Tram Road Animal Hospital and Perrine, Wiley & Potts, want most from this contest — for the community to enjoy the competition and get involved.

We hope you do.