SPOKANE, Wash. – The Year of the Dog typically refers to one's birth year but for a local animal shelter, it means finding a forever home for six puppies.

SCRAPS is celebrating the year with a search for puppy parents.

The shepherd mix puppies up for adoption lost their mother when they were only a few weeks old. They are currently in foster care at SCRAPS.

According to a release, potential parents have been submitting short essays detailing why they would like to have a new family member on the SCRAPS Facebook page. The essays are now open to the public for voting.

“Many of these essays are just heartbreaking,” said Janet Dixon, special programs manager of SCRAPS. “Many people have lost their beloved pets and are looking to welcome a new family member into their home. Others are looking for a puppy to help provide companionship and comfort to a current member of their family.”

To vote, visit the SCRAPS Facebook page. Voting closes on Friday, Feb. 2 and the top six candidates will gather at SCRAPS the next day to learn who gets first choice of the litter based on the number of votes.

All pet parents will pay the $150 adoption fee that includes spay or neutering, vaccinations, license and microchip.