“We wanted to do something out of the ordinary and something truly special and different to recognize our 100th year,” spokeswoman Noel Fridgen Cordell said.
Artists can enter their proposals for the Centennial Paws for a Cause Statue Design Contest through June 30, Cordell said.
The 12 winners will decorate fiberglass statues of six dogs and six cats up to 36 inches tall that will be displayed at sponsoring businesses for six weeks leading up to the Nov. 13 gala at The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown, she said. The winners will receive $100 gifts cards to Howard’s Art and Frames in Hagerstown, which is sponsoring the contest.
The statues will be auctioned off at the gala, Cordell said.
Artists can submit up to five designs on templates attached to the contest application on the Humane Society’s website at hswcmd.org, Cordell said. Click on the “news” tab to find the “Calling all artists!” post, which contains links to the application form and templates.
Applications can be emailed to Anna Somers at [email protected] or dropped off at the shelter at 13011 Maugansville Road in Hagerstown.
The application includes examples of statues that were colorfully decorated for similar contests elsewhere.
“When we display these at local businesses, it’s a great way to get the community involved in our celebration,” Cordell said. “They’re going to be eye-catching, and people are going to want to stop and look at them … and that will pique their interest in learning more about the impact the Humane Society of Washington County has had on the community over the past 100 years.”
The local chapter was founded Nov. 12, 1921, by Daisy Deene Derby Whipple in a one-room building on South Boulevard in Hagerstown, which is now Wilson Boulevard, according to Cordell.
“She recognized a need at the time for a local animal shelter, ” Cordell said. “She had a love of animals and chose to do something about it.”
The shelter moved to its current location on Maugansville Road in 1938. In the 1970s, a ranch-style building was constructed there as it’s new home, she said.
In 2001, the core of the current complex was constructed. It was expanded in 2015 to include the new adoption and veterinary centers, Cordell said.
The facility now totals about 20,000 square feet and has about 45 employees and up to 300 volunteers, she said.
“It’s amazing to see how far the Humane Society has come over the years,” she said. “It’s truly something we want to celebrate.”
Little is know about the building that was originally at the Maugansville Road site in 1938, and Cordell hopes the public can provide information about it or photos. The Humane Society also welcomes any information or photos about any aspect of the organization’s history for inclusion in a documentary that will be shown at the gala.
“If people can provide us with some information we’ll put it to good use to help build the whole story of what the Humane Society of Washington County looks like,” she said.
Anyone with information can contact Somers by email or at 301-733-2060 ext. 242.