We’re on the paws (heels, for you humans) of the inaugural AKHIA’s Cutest Pet contest. To say the competition was ruff would be both a bad pun and an understatement. More than 30 pups and kitties battled online for the popular vote. Despite my distinguished good looks and award-winning photogenicity, I didn’t participate in the contest. But I’m happier than a butcher’s dog to share excerpts from my conversations with the top three winners.

Congratulations to all that participated. Pretty sure a few of you furry friends are destined for Paw-llywood.



1st place: Hiccups, the five-year old darling star of @hiccupsthedog on Instagram

Chalky White: You’re one impressive lady, Hiccups. Congratulations on your big win, and your even bigger heart.

Hiccups: Aww, thanks Chalky! I’m proud of my mommy’s [Jen Brawner, AKHIA Senior Account Executive] commitment to donate $1 per like to the Cleveland APL. I believe that any multi-faceted campaign should include a meaningful cause marketing aspect.

CW: Truly outstanding. How else did you celebrate?

Hiccups: You know my motto—you never can have too much of a good thing. I celebrated with the trifecta of treats, belly rubs and naps.

CW: I love those things too. Call me next time, girl. I’ll meet you in the Purple Conference Room.



2nd place: Barney, a four-year old miniature Australian Shepherd and champion fetcher

CW: Barney, old friend! Way to go! How’d you do it?

Barney: Constant motion. Keep it moving at all times, especially when it comes to throwing and catching.

CW: I meant place in the contest, but I get it. You sound like you could work at AKHIA! Do you help out around the office?

Barney: Will work for peanut butter.

CW: Yes, that’s how I negotiated compensation for this post. It sounds like I’m keeping you from something, Barney….

Barney: First going for a four-mile run with her [Mady Stoner, AKHIA Account Executive], then chasing my ball, then Frisbee, and then watching puppy videos.

CW: Cheers, mate.



3rd place: Webster, a six-month old rescue from One of A Kind Pet Rescue

CW: As one of the contest’s youngest entrants, Webby, this is quite an accomplishment. What was your secret?

Webster: I’ve been coming to AKHIA since my first week in my fur-ever home, so I have a lot of friends here and in my big, extended human family. My mama [Bethany Cook, AKHIA ‎Assistant Account Executive] also posted a campaign video of me sporting a custom “Vote for Web” sandwich board.

CW: You definitely have a future in multimedia, young buck. Tell us what has you most excited for your first spring?

Webster: I was born in time to see the Cleveland Indians make a run at the World Series. I can’t wait to start the baseball season this year. #rallytogether

CW: One word of advice, Webster. Dollar Dog Night isn’t actually reduced canine ticket prices.


Are you a pet brand looking for paw-blic relations or catvertising? There’s a bunch of us at AKHA that will work for KONG toys and catnip. Let’s get together!