Students write an essay, winners choose a pet

Puppy, dog, kitten, cat. Brookings students, take your pick.

Brookings resident Jerry Yegge has agreed to pay for the adoption costs for six pets: one each for three girls and three boys, from the South Coast Humane Society as an Easter memorial for his son, Captain John Paul Yegge, who passed away about two years ago.

"It's primarily because this is what my son would want," Yegge said when asked why he decided to do this. "He would prefer this type of memorial. Anything to do with animals."

One boy and girl from the following categories will be selected: kindergarten through fourth grade, fifth through eighth and high school.

To be considered, students need to write an essay titled "What I Mean to a Pet."

Yegge is also paying for the adoption costs because he realizes that with the poor economy, many people can't afford to adopt a pet.

"It's a special time of the year, and it's a kid's time of the year," Yegge said. "We don't have any bunnies over there, but I'm sure a dog or cat would fit."

The submission deadline is April 4. Winners will be contacted April 6.

Essays can be submitted in person to the Humane Society, or mailed to South Coast Humane Society, P.O. Box 7833, Brookings, OR 97415.

"We encourage the kids writing these essays to look deeply at how the actions of individuals affect the lives of their pets," South Coast Humane Society Director Audrey Morris wrote in a letter about the Easter memorial.

Morris also said the Humane Society will look for inherent compassion and understanding what an animal needs: time, love, care and attention, in the essays.

She would like to remind boys and girls who are interested in adopting a pet that their parents will be assigned the responsibilities of pet parenting, and that before any puppy, dog, cat or kitten goes home, the household parents will be required to meet the Humane Society's adoption requirements.

The Humane Society agreed to partner with Yegge because "it seemed like a small way to give back to him," Morris said. "When he asked us to do this for him there was no way we could say no.

"If we can match up some perfect kids with some perfect pets, that will be wonderful."

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