SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — To raise awareness of the growing need for animal adoptions here in Utah and across the nation, Best Friends Animal Society — a leading organization aiming to end the killing of cats and dogs in U.S. shelters — is hosting its first-ever Adoptable Pet Awards this year.

2022 was a tough season for our nation’s shelters with adoptions, fosters, and rescues struggling to keep pace with a stern rise in animals admitted into shelters.

The Adoptable Pet Awards involves a handful of deserving, adoptable cats and dogs to be featured in six pet-themed categories, with four pet nominations in each.

All pet nominees are from Best Friends’ Lifesaving Centers and programs in several states, including Utah, Arkansas, California, New York, and Texas.

Categories for this year’s pet awards are Best Leading Cuddler, Best Supporting Napper, Best Original Barker, Best Original Meower, Best Costume, and Best Action Sequence.

Below are this year’s nominees:

According to Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society: “Our hope is that the public will vote for their favorite lovable pet, as well as inspire people to get out there and adopt. The shelters and homeless pets need you.”  

Those who’d like to vote and pick their favorites in each category can do so on the Best Friends website.

Voting for the Adoptable Pet Awards will open to the public on Monday, February 13th, and the winners with the most votes to be announced on Friday, March 10th.

Adopt a pet from Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City from February 13-19 and the adoption fees are reduced to just $14.

Best Friends Animal Society offers multiple locations for adoptions and works hand-in-hand with thousands of rescue groups and shelters across the nation to help these pets find loving homes.