BROCKTON (CBS) — Perhaps the only ones truly enjoying these stay-at-home times are our pets. They’re getting plenty of walks and plenty of attention. But their humans can get a helping “paw” from their animals, too.

That’s the idea behind the Cutest Animal Sheltering in Place Contest. And today we have a winner: Lucy the cat.

“Lucy’s very good company for me, and I like it when I’m sitting watching TV or whatever I’m doing, she’s right there next to me purring,” said Nancy Gentile, Lucy’s owner.

Gentile entered her cat in the contest, a unique fundraiser hosted by the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Mass.

“We were trying to think of new and creative ways to fundraise and keep our community involved and engaged,” said Patricia Suess, of the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Mass.

Lucy the cat. (Photo Courtesy: Nancy Gentile)

About 60 people sent pictures of their pets to the Brockton shelter, and each vote cost a buck. The pet owners added a line or two about how the animals are helping them through the quarantine.

“I think it’s really important to have that companion available to release some stress, if that means going for a walk daily with your dog or snuggling with your cat, and just feeling that sense of comfort at home,” Suess said.

Gentile adopted Lucy from the shelter last year, and she’s going to say thank you with the $250 gift card her pet just won.

“Once this pandemic is over I plan to go to Target and buy things for the shelter with it,” she said.

And as the contest shows, nothing beats the unconditional love of a pet.

“They’re very good company for you, and it helps them if you give them a good home, too,” Gentile said.

The shelter raised more than $7,000 with the contest, an important amount for a small non-profit, especially since the virus forced them to cancel their biggest fundraiser of the year.

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