WASHINGTON CROSSING, Pa. — Although its brick-and-mortar location is west of the Delaware River, there is a nonprofit, no-kill animal welfare group doing plenty of good work right here in the Garden State.

The Crossings Animal Society primarily serves Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Mercer County, but has a history of branching out into Hunterdon County and other areas of New Jersey.

"If we've got the capacity and we get a reasonable request, for example for a surrender, if it's coming from nearby but outside those counties, we may say yes to that," Crossings President Yvonne Neiman said.

The organization's mission is to provide quality care and a loving home for every dog and cat, and its chief longterm goal is to build a no-kill sanctuary, but right now, Neiman said the group's focus is on its United Paw program.

United Paw has four main prongs: offering assistance through its Washington Crossing location and help hotline, caring for homeless pets and those from families with financial constraints through the "Boris & Natasha" veterinary fund, maintaining a surrender adoption program, and partnering with the Mary Ann Morris Animal Society (M.A.M.A.S.) in South Carolina.

The association with M.A.M.A.S. allows that shelter to operate as close to no-kill as possible by having The Crossings facilitate transporting dogs to their eventual adoption, or placement in a no-kill rescue environment, anywhere from greater Philadelphia to New England.

It is from that South Carolina facility that The Crossings got the idea for its first-ever pet calendar contest, called "I'm Rescued and I'm Adorable."

Registration for a pet photo submission, along with a brief bio or story, is $10. After that, your pet will be entered into the contest, and you can vote for it to be the featured photo for a month at $1 per vote.

Neiman said there have been more than two dozen submissions so far.

"In our case, we are limiting the contest itself to companion animals that were rescued either from a rescue organization or from a shelter," she said.

However, if your pet did not come from a rescue or shelter and you would like its photo to be considered for a particular single date on the calendar, that fee is also $10.

The contest runs through midnight on Monday, Sept. 30, after which the 10 pets with the most votes will each be given a month. The calendar will become available for purchase in mid- to late October.

Neiman said the target goal for net proceeds is a reach, at $20,000, but all that money will go toward strengthening the facets of the United Paw program.

In addition, if a rescue group or shelter in Mercer or Bucks tallies the greatest number of "alumni" in the voting, that organization will get $500.

For more information about the contest, click here, or go to thecrossingsanimalsociety.org.

Patrick Lavery is Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming for New Jersey 101.5, and is lead reporter and substitute anchor for "New Jersey's First News." Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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