Animal Rescue of Tracy is getting into the holiday spirit with its newest fundraising event: the Ugly Holiday Pet Sweater Contest.

"ART is an all-volunteer based, non-profit organization. Typically we hold several fundraisers during the year, but due to circumstances, we had to change plans including canceling our annual holiday gift wrap at the mall. Instead, we are sponsoring the Ugly Holiday Pet Sweater Contest," said Sarah McNamara, director of special fundraiser events for ART.

For a donation of $15, pet parents will receive a starter sweater from ART to decorate for their fur-babies to model for some friendly competition with prizes up to $1,000 in value. Registration for the event is open until Dec. 4, with entry submissions being accepted until Dec. 14. Members of the public will vote on their favorite ugly-sweater-wearing pet on ART's Facebook page.

ART is non-profit organization, dedicated to caring for and homing abandoned or mistreated pets, including saving animals from local shelters. With the help of donations and volunteers, ART has managed to rescue and re-home nearly 4,000 cats and dogs in its lifetime according to its website. It broke its record in 2019 with the rescue and re-homing of 402 cats and dogs, the most in one year in the organization's history — and that number keeps growing.

This year, the rescue group has adopted out over 450 animals so far and has experienced a surge of kittens in need of rescuing.

"Our operating costs were over $150k in 2019 and as we continue to help local shelters with animals they cannot cover as well as providing community support for owner surrenders and deaths," said McNamara. "In order for us to continue to serve the community, we need financial support. This contest is just one way for families to have fun creating an ugly sweater for their fur-baby while supporting a worthy cause."

Those interested in participating in the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest can visit animalrescuetracy.org for registration and entry details.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or call 209-835-3030.

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