This year’s Cutest Pet Contest was one of our best yet, with more than 40,000 votes cast for Central Florida’s cutest pet. Now, it’s time to get to know the top three winners!
1st Place: Jack
Breed: Bernese Mountain Dog
Cutest Pet parents: Cody & Alexis Suarez
Community: Winter Garden
What are some of Jack’s favorite things? Jack’s favorite things include being a 100-pound lap dog. In his spare time, Jack enjoys going to the dog park and hanging out with all of his friends. Jack’s all-time favorite things usually include anything that is edible. He enjoys being a brother to our golden retriever and lives to make sure that only he receives all the attention and love in the house. (Poor Hank.)
How did you and your Cutest Pet meet? My old college roommate knew I was interested in a Bernese mountain dog, so when she came across one, she texted me. My husband and I went to look at him just to see him and learn more about the breed, and the rest was history. We had no intention of getting another dog at that point but it was love at first sight.
What is your Cutest Pet’s story? Jack is the happiest dog I know despite almost losing his life near his 1st birthday. Jack had a reaction or illness that specialists still can’t explain even after being hospitalized for a week and having almost every test imaginable. They initially told me he probably had cancer and was going to die. His lymph nodes in his neck were so swollen that he could not breathe and they were going to have to perform a life saving tracheotomy. They finally gave him steroids after a week of suffering and he miraculously recovered. They don’t know what happened to Jack or if it will happen again. We cherish every day we have with him, and he’s still the happiest dog I know even after having gone though that experience.
Fun Fact! Jack is a mountain dog who loves living in Central Florida even though he still can’t swim.
2nd Place: Dos Equis
Cutest Pet parents: Jan and Rob Napierkowski
What are some of Dos Equis’ favorite things? Dos Equis loves running around the yard with his fur sisters and brothers, lounging by the pool getting a sun tan, meeting new people, snuggles with his mama, and treats are always his absolute favorite.
How did you and your Cutest Pet meet? We met at Polk County Animal Control when I arrived to pick him up.
What is your Cutest Pet’s story? Dos Equis was left at animal control by his previous family because he was “too old” (13 years old). The rescue I foster for (Florida Little Dog Rescue) was asked to please take him in as he wasn’t doing well in the shelter environment. We jumped at the chance to foster him (senior dogs are our favorite) and quickly fell head over heels in love with him. Once he was cleared for adoption, we realized that we couldn’t let him go, as he had wiggled his way into our heart and home with his crooked smile and spunky personality. We foster failed! Dos Equis is now 16 years old and has more energy than most of the younger dogs that we foster. With his easygoing, loving personality he teaches our new fosters how to trust humans again.
Fun Fact! Dos Equis was featured on the first ever Dog Bowl hosted by Jill Rappaport on Animal Planet, along with his sister Martini, in 2017. Dos would love to spread the word on just how awesome senior rescue animals are.
3rd Place: Hattie Mae
Breed: Chinese Crested
Cutest Pet parents: Melanie Lokey Rollman and Mark Rollman
What are some of Hattie’s favorite things? Playing with her Bambino sister Scarlett No’Haira, and playing fetch 5,482,554 times every day!
How did you and your Cutest Pet meet? Through Lil Rascals Rescue
What is Hattie’s story? Hattie was an owner surrender from Georgia. She was part of a transport from Georgia to the rescue here in Central Florida. My vet, knowing how I love all the “naked” animals, called and asked if I would be interested in meeting her. I agreed to foster her, but within 10 seconds of meeting her and looking into those eyes, I knew she would be part of my home and my heart forever.