A small dog lovingly shares a seat with her feline friend? Yup, it’s pretty sweet. That was the winning photo by Barbara Outten of Crisfield, Md., in our 2023 Star Pets Photo Contest. The summertime contest was presented by the County Times, Dorchester Banner, Salisbury Independent and BayToBayNews.com. The sponsor was Concord Pet Foods & Supplies.
Stella is a sheltie-chihuahua mix, and Stormy was rescued as a male kitten. Outten called them BFF’s: “Best Furry Friends” since the day they met.
“When my husband passed, I needed something to help me through that,” Outten said. “I’d always had cats, but I never had a dog. It was a new experience.” But it’s been a good experience. A few months later, Outten’s brother-in-law told her about a litter of abandoned kittens, so she adopted one, too. “I got both of them at the same time. They kind of bonded together, and that’s when I started taking pictures,” Outten said.
This photo was taken when the critters were a little younger—so do they still cuddle? “They don’t anymore,” she laughed. “Stormy’s grown into a big cat, gosh he’s 12 pounds or more. Stella’s 25 pounds, and she’s timid.”
Stella loves playing catch with the frisbee and ball, and she takes advantage of Somerset County’s beautiful public parks. And just recently Outten added another dog to the family: an Australian shepherd rescued from a puppy mill.
“I want to encourage others to adopt,” Outten said. “They will not regret it!”
“This was our first Pet Photo Contest, and we were thrilled to have close to 150 entries from both our Delaware and Maryland regions,” said Heather Cregar, Maryland director of marketing and promotions. “There were lots of great photos, so it was very hard for us to pick just one winner. But I’m sure we will hold this contest again in 2024.”
By coincidence, the winning photo from the Delaware Star Pet Contest also featured a cat and dog pair: Chris Young and Laura Matusheski of Newark, Del., submitted a photo of Indie the pit bull and Kon the kitten.
The winning photos both depict what some people might consider an unusual friendship between a dog and a cat. Maybe it’s a hint for everyone to be a little kinder to others.
Readers can view all the photo entries and check out current contests offered at BayToBayNews.com/Contests.