Two weeks ago, I sang the praises of the cast and crew in the Aiken Community Playhouse’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird. This week, and for the rest of the month, the SPCA is searching for stars to appear in our next television commercial which will air on WFXG Fox 54.


The theme is “Make a Match!” and we are looking for people who look like their pets. And many, many people do! There is psychological evidence that supports the idea that people choose mates and even pets based on their own distinct features. According to psychologist Stanley Coren, Ph.D., the mechanism that causes people to pick pets that look like they do is the subtle notion of familiarity. In technical publications, it is known as “The Mere Exposure Effect.” Basically, it means we humans like what is familiar to us.


The Mere Exposure Effect is what causes people to revisit the same walking trail, to order the same dish from the menu or rent the same beach house year after year. Familiarity is comfortable, and after spending hours upon hours of time in front of a mirror or taking selfies for Facebook, there is nothing more familiar than our own face. Living with pets that look like us makes us more comfy.


Are you lucky enough to have the same snow white waves as your Maltipoo? Do you enjoy feathered hats similar to that crown on your cockatiel? Maybe your mustache is Maine Coon-ish?


Whatever it is that makes you look like your pet (or even some other pet you know), we want to see it! You’ll need to snap a photo of the two of you together and enter our contest before April 29. Visit www.LetLoveLive.org and click on the “Make a Match” link below the logo on the home page to see the rules and enter your photo.


Here are some helpful tips to get you started:


• This is no time for selfies. Enlist a friend to take a clear shot of you and your pet together.


• Try to avoid busy backgrounds. We want to see you and your pet shine!


• Show your creative side! Wear matching clothes or do your hair/fur the same way.


• Get up close and personal! The photo needs to be close enough for us to see your features.


• We want children to enter, but they must be registered on line with someone 18 or older.


• Be sure you and your pet are available for filming from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, May 6.


• All types of pets are welcome as long as you can safely get them to the SPCA on May 6.


• All pets must have current, appropriate vaccinations.


If you need to update vaccinations, the SPCA vaccination clinic is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for affordable, walk-in appointments. A rabies vaccine is especially important for your pet, particularly given that Aiken has seen six rabies exposures since Jan. 1. In 2013, there were only 13 exposures for the entire year.


Plus, the SPCA is giving $2 off of rabies vaccinations in honor of “Old Tim” when you bring in your ACP “To Kill a Mockingbird” ticket stub. The offer is good for one year from the date of your stub and the play is wonderful!


Playing through April 27, “To Kill a Mockingbird” features some of the SPCA’s favorite supporters. Past board member and current sponsor of the SPCA, the lovable David Stinson plays the man we love to hate, Bob Ewell. Junior SPCA President Blair Sims makes his acting debut as the eccentric idealist, Dill Harris. Tickets are available at www.AikenCommunityPlayhouse.us.


So get your tickets, get your vaccine and get yourself and your pet gussied up for a glamour shot and a chance to put your matching mugs on television as a star in the next SCPA ad. We can’t wait to see you shine!


The SPCA is located at 199 Willow Run Road in Aiken off Rudy Mason Parkway/Highway 118. We are open for adoptions from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday (Saturday and Sunday adoptions must be completed on Monday). Our affordable vaccination and spay and neuter clinics are open Tuesday through Friday. Walk-in for vaccinations from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call for spay and neuter appointments and the best available pricing. For more information, visit us online at www.LetLoveLive.org and text PETS to 95454.


A graduate of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, Chrissey Miller has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Miller began work at the SPCA in January 2010 as volunteer coordinator. She is thrilled to be able to mesh her creative passion and sales experience together as development director, in charge of programming, fundraising, events and grant-writing. Miller and her husband David live in Aiken with their children, Blair and Gracey; their adopted tri-pawed dog, Zipper and adopted Dogue de Bordeaux/Lab mix, Django.