Rescue / Shelter Dog Photo Contest Winners 2023

In our recent Rescue Dog Photo Contest, five remarkable dogs emerged as winners, capturing the hearts of our community. These dogs not only showcase the resilience and spirit of rescue animals but also represent the countless success stories brought to life through dedicated organizations, fosters and adopters.

Shelter Dog Winner: Lennon

Prize: $1000 Cash!

Lennon’s Backstory

Lennon’s journey began in a heart-wrenching manner when he and his littermates were callously abandoned, left to fend for themselves. Fortunately, fate led them to the caring hands of a rescue organization, but their situation was dire. Recognizing the need for immediate action, the litter was transferred to Barking Mad Animal Rescue, a dedicated shelter committed to saving lives.

Barking Mad Animal Rescue

Barking Mad Animal Rescue is an incredible organization that collaborates with various rescues to ensure the well-being and adoption of dogs in need. With a robust network in the Maritimes region of Canada, the rescue primarily focuses on rehoming dogs there. Undertaking a monumental effort, the organization conducts regular trips spanning over 6,000 miles from Texas to Canada, transporting an average of 60 to 80 dogs, including those pre-adopted. To secure the grand prize in the Rescue Dog Photo Contest, the rescue called upon its extensive network, encouraging partners and followers to vote. Their remarkable engagement and dedication paid off, catapulting Lennon to victory.

Lennon’s Transformation

Upon arrival at Barking Mad Animal Rescue’s spacious 25-acre farm nestled deep within the national forest in Texas, Lennon’s remarkable transformation began. The shelter’s devoted team left no stone unturned in ensuring Lennon’s well-being. Through comprehensive vet care, an abundance of nourishment, and a supportive environment, his true personality flourished.

Lovable Goofball Personality

Lennon, once subdued and possibly traumatized by his abandonment, revealed himself as a lovable goofball once he felt safe and loved. His playful nature and zest for life became evident as he explored every nook and cranny of the rescue farm. With a particular affinity for water, Lennon relished his swim time and cherished playing with balls. Volunteers at Barking Mad Animal Rescue unanimously agree that Lennon’s spirit and charisma are simply irresistible.

Finding a Forever Home

Although Lennon has won hearts through his photo contest victory, he is still in search of his forever home. This lively and affectionate pup is eagerly awaiting a family who can match his energy and provide him with the love and care he deserves. If you are interested in giving Lennon the forever home he longs for reach out to Barking Mad Animal Rescue today.


Rescue Dog Contest

In First Place: Sandy Rose

Sandy Rose, the first-place winner in the Rescue Dogs category, has a poignant story that showcases her journey from a neglected puppy mill to finding her forever home. This adorable Standard Poodle endured a difficult start in life, purchased by an elderly couple during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, they failed to provide her with proper care, neglecting her hygiene and leaving her without food or water while they went on vacation.

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Sandy’s rescue story took a heartwarming turn when the elderly couple’s irresponsibility caught the attention of a compassionate individual who stepped in to save her. Out of the 100 applicants who expressed interest in adopting Sandy, fate brought her to the person who would become her devoted guardian. Despite not having formally applied, the new owner reached out to the rescue team, and their connection was instantaneous. Sandy found her forever home, where she would be cherished and loved unconditionally.

A Neglectful Past

However, Sandy’s journey to recovery was far from over. As a result of her neglectful past, she developed separation anxiety and trust issues towards strangers. Yet, her new owner recognized the challenges and embraced them with open arms. Sandy’s incredible resilience and gentle nature shone through, as she displayed no signs of aggression despite her past mistreatment. The bond between Sandy and her forever owner grew stronger with each passing day.

Health Struggles

Sandy’s health struggles became a priority for her devoted guardian. After discovering that she had a severe case of Giardia, a parasitic infection causing persistent diarrhea and weight loss, her owner spared no effort to provide the best possible care. Numerous visits to the veterinarian and substantial medical bills became a part of their daily routine. Through it all, Sandy’s owner remained steadfast in their commitment to her well-being, promising to do whatever it takes to nurse her back to health.

Sandy Rose’s story is a testament to the unwavering love and dedication that rescue dogs inspire in their human companions. Despite the challenges she has faced, Sandy has found her forever home and a compassionate owner who will stop at nothing to ensure her happiness and well-being. Through love, care, and ongoing veterinary support, Sandy’s journey to recovery continues, offering hope and encouragement to others who may have faced similar adversities.

By sharing Sandy’s story, we celebrate the triumph of resilience, compassion, and the enduring bond between humans and their beloved rescue pets.


Judges Choice: Madison

Celebrating Madison: The Inspiring Two-Legged Dog who Captured Hearts

In a heartwarming display of resilience and determination, Madison, the recipient of the esteemed Judges Choice Award, stands as a shining example of the indomitable spirit of rescue dogs. Madison’s extraordinary story began with a rocky start, as she was a product of a backyard breeder who callously abandoned her at a shelter due to her physical disability. Although the breeder chose to keep the rest of the litter, Madison’s journey took a fortunate turn when the San Bernardino shelter swiftly recognized her need for specialized care, ensuring she received the attention she deserved.

Born With Two Legs

Having been born with only two legs, Madison faced unique challenges, but her unwavering spirit and a stroke of luck led her to find her forever family. With the love and support of compassionate individuals, Madison became a cherished member of a loving household. Despite her physical limitations, she embodies a charming and sassy personality that instantly captures the hearts of those around her.

Madison’s resilience and adaptability shine through her remarkable friendship with a pit bull, proving that bonds transcend physical abilities. Her zest for life extends to various adventures, from enjoying beach trips and park outings to going on stroller walks with her loving family. Madison’s unwavering spirit serves as a powerful reminder that limitations are merely obstacles waiting to be overcome.

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Judges Choice Award

The Judges Choice Award, a special recognition bestowed upon Madison, was not determined by popular votes but by the employees of Rocky Kanaka Media. They were moved by Madison’s incredible journey and the positive impact she has had on those around her. This recognition stands as a testament to the enduring power of resilience, as Madison inspires others to see beyond physical appearances and embrace the joy that lies within.

Madison’s story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration, demonstrating that every dog, regardless of physical abilities, has the potential to thrive and bring immeasurable happiness to their adoptive families. Her contagious spirit and unwavering determination inspire us all to look past limitations and celebrate the beauty of uniqueness.

She reminds us that four legs may be the norm, but it is the strength of spirit and the depth of connection that truly matter.


In 2nd Place: Lilith

Celebrating Lilith: A Spirited Adventurer with a Song in Her Heart

Meet Lilith, the spirited Siberian Husky/Terrier mix who captured the hearts of many and secured the second-place spot in the Rescue Dog Photo Contest. With her contagious zest for life and love for car rides, Lilith is always ready for the next exciting adventure alongside her beloved humans. Whether it’s a spontaneous road trip or a planned outing, Lilith’s joy knows no bounds as long as she’s in the company of her “peeps.”

A Spirited Siberian Husky/Terrier

This vibrant canine companion finds pure bliss in the simplest of pleasures, and one of her favorite indulgences is a good ol’ bully stick. But it’s her zest for life that truly shines, illuminating the path she embarked upon after spending three months in a shelter. Lilith’s original family, unfortunately, could no longer care for her, but fate led her to a brighter future, where her spirit would flourish.

Witnessing Lilith’s exuberance is a heartwarming sight, a testament to her resilience and the love she radiates. The shelter may have been a temporary home, but it couldn’t dim her vibrant personality.

While Lilith may appreciate the harmony of adventure and companionship, there is one peculiar quirk that tickles everyone’s funny bone—she has an aversion to her owner’s singing in the car. The reasons behind this amusing dislike remain a delightful mystery, but it only adds to Lilith’s unique and endearing character. Perhaps her singing preferences lie in a different genre!

Journey from the shelter to a loving home

Lilith’s remarkable journey from the shelter to a loving home showcases the transformative power of rescue. Her vibrant spirit, unwavering joy, and ability to find happiness in the simplest of pleasures remind us of the boundless love that rescue dogs bring into our lives.

As Lilith claims her well-deserved second-place title in the Rescue Dog Photo Contest, her story serves as a testament to the resilience and exuberance that rescue dogs possess. Lilith’s adventures and her infectious enthusiasm are a shining example of the transformative power of love and care. Through her presence, Lilith inspires us to cherish each moment, embrace the joys of companionship, and find our own unique melodies of happiness.

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In 3rd Place: Fran

Fran,

Celebrating Fran: A Journey of Love and Resilience

In the heartwarming tale of Fran, the third-place winner of the Rescue Dog Photo Contest, we witness the incredible transformation of a stray dog who overcame adversity to find her forever home. Fran’s story began when she was found as a stray, with a string of lights tightly wrapped around her, impeding her ability to breathe. Thankfully, Mutty Paws Rescue in West Palm Beach, FL, came to her rescue, recognizing her desperate need for help.

Found as a stray, with a string of lights tightly wrapped around her

After seeing Fran’s picture, her soon-to-be owner fell in love instantly. Despite her fearful disposition and the challenges she faced, it was clear that Fran deserved a loving home. The dedicated transport coordinator at Mutty Paws Rescue made all the necessary arrangements to ensure Fran could travel from Florida to her new home in Asheville, NC.

Diamond in the rough

From the moment Fran arrived, she formed an unbreakable bond with her new owner. They became inseparable, with Fran finding comfort and security in their presence. Sleeping together from the very first night, their connection grew stronger each passing day. Fran proved to be a “diamond in the rough,” demonstrating her resilience and capacity for love.

Hurdles to overcome

While Fran’s journey has been marked by significant progress, there are still hurdles to overcome. With love, patience, and careful introductions, Fran is slowly learning to trust and overcome her fears of other people. Although her past remains a mystery, her owner is committed to helping Fran heal and adjust at her own pace. Each milestone achieved is a testament to the unwavering dedication and compassion invested in Fran’s well-being.

Fran’s story is a reminder of the immense impact that rescue dogs can have on our lives. Despite her challenging start and lingering fears, Fran’s loving nature shines through. She adores belly rubs, cherishes her walks, and revels in being near her devoted owner. Together, they navigate the journey of overcoming Fran’s aggression towards males and other dogs, working towards a brighter future.

Fran’s well-deserved recognition in the Rescue Dog Photo Contest is a testament to the collective efforts of transport friends in Florida and compassionate individuals throughout the country. It is a celebration of Fran’s resilience and the power of second chances.

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