Serena's Star 2017

Could you use an extra $500? Great! Now that I have your attention...

Do you know an amazing pet? I have three. They're just regular house cats, but each is one-of-a-kind and in my eyes at least, absolutely, pawsitively perfect . Most of us feel that way about our pets, but if you have or know a pet that is truly remarkable in their ability to provide compassion or service to people in need, here's your chance to give them the recognition they deserve.

Serena is a local dog, who, about a decade ago, found herself in an overcrowded animal shelter for too long, scheduled to be euthanized with too many other pets. Thankfully, she was saved from death's door by Molly's Militia and adopted into a loving family with Steve and Doris Briggs.

Since then, Serena has been paying back the love she's received by helping people in need. For years, she has used her intuitive compassion to deliver comfort to sick or challenged children, wounded veterans, and shattered souls throughout our community.

Her amazing ability inspired a 2012 documentary entitled "Paw Prints: Serena's Story" (it's on YouTube if you haven't seen it) and eventually inspired an award in her name. So, for the fourth consecutive year, the SPCA Albrecht Center, in partnership with Serena's owners, Steve and Doris Briggs, will recognize other pets that are making positive contributions in our community , and will name one incredible pet "Serena's Star 2017".

Nominations are open to all pets, no matter the species or breed. While the fine folks at the SPCA love a good adoption story, the nominee need not be adopted, and purebred pets are welcome too! Serena and her family just want to hear the great things pets are doing to improve, or even save human lives.

Therapy pets, assistance animals, drug and bomb dogs, even regular ol' pets that once did something extraordinary like waken a family during a home invasion, or alert a parent to a child's unrecognized distress, whatever the animal-induced miracle is, this is your chance to tell the world (or at least the CSRA).

Get your story together and submit it by March 17th. An easy, online nomination form is available on the SPCA's website at or you can print and mail the nomination form to Attn: Claire Roberson/Serena's Star; SPCA Albrecht Center; 199 Willow Run Road; Aiken, SC 29801.

Nominations should include a photo (which may not be returned). Please limit the written portion to no more than 500 words. If you are nominating a pet that does not belong to you, please be sure the pet and owner don’t mind being the center of undying gratitude and attention.

Lastly, Serena, Steve and Doris will generously award the winner a $500 reward for their good-deed-doing. That should keep some lucky winner in food and toys for a while! The award will be presented during the SPCA’s volunteer appreciation luncheon on April 2nd and the winner will also be presented with a large framed photo which will be displayed in the SPCA's Marr Training and Education Center.

Best of luck to all of the nominees! If you have questions, or want to be sure your nomination is received, please call Claire Roberson, Community Outreach Director at 803-648-6863 or email her at

Sarah Neikam is the Communications & Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her family which includes three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady, who are all living happy, loved lives thanks to the efforts of the SPCA.

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The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is a

tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.

EIN: 57-0329782

  199 Willow Run Road  Aiken, SC 29801      Shelter: (803) 648-6863    Vet Care: (803) 648-6864

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