This week, staff writer Laura Rysz talks with Lisa Young about the virtual Howl-O-Ween Pet Costume Contest, benefiting PAWsitively for the Animals and the Maddie Fund, which provides pet food and veterinary assistance for those in need.




Residence: Scranton

Educational/professional background: Bachelor’s degree in biology; medical technologist, American Society of Clinical Pathologists

Title: PFTA co-founder, treasurer and event chairwoman

Q: What was the inspiration for this event?

A: PFTA’s annual Howl-o-ween Pet Parade usually held at Nay Aug Park has been canceled this year due to COVID-19. As this is one of our most enjoyable fundraisers of the year, we still wanted to have our supporters show off their creative pet costumes that they put so much time and effort into. By having a virtual Howl-o-ween Pet Costume Contest, people from all over the United States will be able to enter and vote, all while adhering to social distancing and raising money for a great cause.

Q: How does the fundraiser work?

A: To participate, visit gogo itivelyfortheanimals to view, enter or vote in any of five categories. Enter as many photos into as many categories as you wish at $5 per entry. Anyone can visit the website, browse the participants and vote for their favorites as many times as they wish for $1 per vote. The pet with the highest votes in each category will win.

Q: What are the categories and prizes?

A: Categories are scariest, $25; funniest, $25; cutest, $25; most original, $25; and best in show, $100. In addition to the cash prize, each winner will receive a personalized certificate to frame and display their pet’s achievement. Winners will be announced on Oct. 31 and will be notified by email or phone. Winners also will be displayed on our Facebook page and website.

Q: How will proceeds be used?

A: All proceeds will go to support PFTA and the Maddie Fund, which provides pet food and veterinary assistance to families struggling to care for their pets.

Q: What is unique about this fundraiser?

A: In this unprecedented time, PFTA has tried to come up with a unique way to not only raise funds to support our cause but also to create a fun way to engage our communities and come together during this pandemic.