Tell Us About Your Rescue Pet During The Pandemic (Or What Would They Say About You?)

We're all ears - share your rescued animal story!
Berkeley Humane wants to hear your favorite story!

August 12, 2021

Contact: Jeffrey Zerwekh
Executive Director

Berkeley, Calif.—Berkeley Humane (Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society) has launched their rescue pet story event as part of Best in Show — Stories from Beyond the Shelter featuring Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize winning author, Dr. Michael Krasny of the award-winning KQED Forum, TV personality and Emmy award winning journalist Diane Dwyer, and the top story entries! Three finalists will share their 300 to 400-word stories in a live virtual event on Friday, October 15, 2021. Tickets for the event are on sale now.

Voted best virtual event in the East Bay last year, Best in Show — Stories from Beyond the Shelter is a celebration of the impact pets have had on our lives during what has been a challenging and emotional 15 months. Many people have questioned how they would have survived the pandemic this far without their constant furry companions.

“We are all dealing with very challenging times and, for many of us, our pets are a huge comfort,” said Jeffrey Zerwekh, Berkeley Humane’s Executive Director. “We can all benefit from sharing stories of the love and devotion of our rescue animals.”

According to the American Veterinary Association there are close to 77 million dogs and almost 60 million cats in our homes — that’s a lot of great stories to share. For many of us, dogs and cats are part of our daily lives, but they are more than just pets. They make us laugh, keep us warm, entertain on a Zoom call, serve as alarm clocks in the morning, and warn us of potential danger — or of a particularly offensive squirrel or a bird outside the window. They pull at our heartstrings, and most importantly, they teach us about unconditional love. Everybody has a story about their dog or cat and Berkeley Humane wants to reward you for sharing yours. 

To enter the Pet Stories Contest, please head to the Best in Show event page and complete an entry form no later than deadline date of Wednesday, September 15th, 2021. 

WHO:                   Berkeley Humane (Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society)

WHAT:                 Best in Show — Stories from Beyond the Shelter. A Benefit Featuring amateur pet story tellers, and guests Jennifer Egan, Michael Krasny, and Diane Dwyer.

Pet Story Entry Deadline – Wednesday, September 15, 2021

WHEN:                 Live Event: Friday, October 15, 2021. Contest winner awarded “Best in Show”

WHY:                    Raise funds to save the lives of shelter animals 

SHARE THIS ON SOCIAL: Share your rescue pet story with @berkeleyhumane – sign up by September 15 at


With its origins dating back to 1895, today Berkeley Humane serves the people and animals of our community by providing life-saving programs for cats and dogs, cultivating compassion, and strengthening the human-animal bond. With the support of a dedicated and talented volunteer and staff team, Berkeley Humane intakes animals from municipals shelters around the Bay Area who are often in need of medical care, improved nutrition, enrichment and lots of love. Learn more at


CONTEST TOPIC: How has a rescue animal impacted your life? 

During these times more than ever, we would love to hear your story about a meaningful experience you had (or are having!) with a rescue animal, your own, one you met through friends or family, or just around the neighborhood. 

Prize packages for finalists to include a cash prize and other items.   



Give it your best shot! Pull at our heartstrings, make us laugh or make us cry, but only one submission per person permitted. 

Please submit your original 300-400 word personal story about a rescue animal in your life by 11:59 pm PDT on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Submissions that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified. 

This contest welcomes storytellers of all ages, backgrounds. All submissions must be in English. 

All submissions must be online through the official entry website at  

All submissions must be suitable for all audiences. Berkeley Humane reserves the right to reject entries that are gratuitously violent, sexually suggestive, vulgar, or otherwise explicitly offensive. 

Submissions will be screened by a panel of Berkeley Humane’s essay judges. All decisions of the judges are final. 

Finalists will be notified by September 30, 2021.

The top three finalists will join Jennifer Egan and Michael Krasny to read their stories in an online event at “Best in Show – Stories from Beyond the Shelter” on Friday October 15th, 2021. The winner and runners up will be determined at this event.

Finalists agree not to share their stories publicly before the event. We want to maintain interest and excitement for the Best in Show audience. 

Gift packages will be awarded to all finalists. Finalists will be solely responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes on winnings, if any.  

The ownership of any submission becomes the property of Berkeley Humane, but entry into the competition constitutes the entrant’s permission and consent, without compensation, with or without attribution, for Berkeley Humane to use, reproduce, transmit, post, distribute, adapt, edit, and/or display the submission.

Skip to content