Agility, superior exhibition of breed characteristics, cuteness, intelligence, goofy tricks–categories range from the serious to the silly when it comes to dog contests. America’s Favorite Pets is one such contest. It picks winners based on digitally-cast votes for favorites in only two categories: dogs and cats.
Winston, a super cute French Bulldog, was one of the competitors who made his way all the way to the semi-finals. His dog dad shared an insider’s view of how he made it happen and what it was like to participate in the event.
Winston Entered the Contest in September and Kept Winning
Winston’s main man is Joseph Salzillo, who found about the contest in early September. Winston is a fine-looking dog, so Joseph decided to give it a go. He submitted a photo of Winston and impressed the contest organizers enough to earn a spot in the competition. Joseph told the New Haven Register that he had never done anything like this before. Even though it was their first time, he knew just what to do to drum up some votes for Winston!
All of Winston and Joseph’s Friends and Followers Rallied in Support
Winston already had his own Facebook and Instagram pages. The first thing Joseph did was turn to Winston’s followers to rally their support. He asked them to vote for Winston, but he didn’t stop there. He reported to the New Haven Register, “Colleagues, family, dog breeders, friends, friends of friends, people on Facebook — as the weeks went by, I got more and more people to vote for him.” Some days Winston got hundreds of votes! Thanks to all the support, Winston continued advancing and stayed in the competition for five weeks!
A Tight Race to Get into the Semi-Finals
Winston was in the quarter-finals and shooting for a spot in the semi-finals. Joseph was a bundle of nerves as the day’s voting came to a close. He said, “That evening, it was a very tight race. While Winston was in second place all week, he jumped up to first place for one hour. Then, the other dog who had originally been in first must have gotten a surge of votes in and took first place.” At the deadline, Winston was beaten out by Fuzzy Bear, a rescue from Los Angeles.
Win or Lose, Winston and Joseph Felt the Love
The best part of participating in this contest was feeling to love and support from everyone voting for Winston. Joseph commented that it was heartwarming to see people come together for something like this. These are tough, isolating times for all of us. Small things like an online dog contest can make a big difference in our lives. He said, “Something like this it makes you realize how people really care about me,” he said. “Even though they are voting for a dog, they are really voting for me.”
Check Out the Contest that Benefitted Animal Rescue PAWS Foundation
The America’s Favorite Pet contest wrapped up at 11 PM EDT Thursday, October 8th. There were eight finalists. See who won on October 15th! The contest benefitted PAWS Foundation, who “rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife, shelters and adopts homeless cats and dogs, and also provides education and outreach within the community to promote compassionate action for animals. Learn more at paws.org.”
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Featured Image Winston Jack Frenchie/Instagram
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