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Gus claims top honors in Chester County Independent’s pet photo contest

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By Holly Roeder
Staff Writer

“Happy, happy, happy, with goofy on the side,” is how Gus’ owner Molly Duke describes the mixed breed pooch. Gus garnered a total of 988 votes, claiming the number one spot in the Chester County Independent’s recent pet calendar contest by 111 votes.
The Independent will donate a portion of the contest proceeds to City of Henderson Animal Control, Loving Paws Rescue and Funny Farms Rescue Ranch, which is fitting, as Gus himself is a local shelter grad.
Duke said she went to Animal Control in the summer of 2016, in search of a “brother” for her two female dogs. Of her two, she had an older dog, and recognized the need for a younger companion for her younger girl. When she arrived to find three male dogs to choose from, she chose the dog that had been there the longest, Gus. “He’s extremely sweet,” she added. “He’s really well mannered. He’s a great dog all around.”
Participants voted for their favorites among 79 pet entries, including cats, dogs and even a goat. Duke said she did not know if Gus had won or not, laughing, “It was a bidding war at the end!” She explained her father suggested the tactic of waiting until the last moments to add her final votes, then encouraged her to hurry it up, with “You’ve got 40 seconds left!”
Spending the cash was an easy decision for Duke and her father. Animal Control was behind on donations this year, she explained, due to the cancellation of the annual barbecue festival and other fundraisers – a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I donate to them all the time,” she said, so this was an opportunity to continue that work. “It was a fun thing to do, the calendars are going to a good cause.”
The calendars will be ready sometime around the beginning of the year. Subscribers will receive a calendar in their newspaper, and a number of calendars will be available for purchase from the Independent office. All 79 entries will be featured in the calendar.
Check out October 2021 to see Gus’ prize winning photo, and to find out who else made the top 12. While Gus will obtain notoriety as top dog in the contest, he’s always been a winner in Molly Duke’s heart.

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