PetPartners, Inc. Names the Winner of the 4th Annual Animaltarian of the Year Award Contest

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After a fierce second round of voting, the title has been awarded to Josh and His Critters of Sun Valley, CA. Josh and His Critters receives a $5000 prize donation to support its animal welfare mission, which includes costly specialty veterinary care and needed specialty appliances for mobility of disabled animals.

Winner of 2017 Animaltarian of the Year!

Congratulations to Josh and His Critters! To witness firsthand such outpouring of compassion for animals gives us a boost of positive energy to continue to encourage responsible pet ownership, enhance health coverage for pets, and find ways to assist in the best possible care for beloved pets.

PetPartners, Inc., a leading provider of pet health insurance, announced today the winner of the 4th annual Animaltarian of the Year Contest. Eight finalists out of 28 entries nationwide were determined through public voting and proceeded to the finalist voting phase. After a fierce second round, the title has been awarded to Josh and His Critters of Sun Valley, CA. Josh and His Critters receives a $5000 prize donation to support its animal welfare mission, which includes costly specialty veterinary care and needed specialty appliances for mobility of disabled animals.

“Congratulations to Josh and His Critters!" said John Wycoff, President of PetPartners, Inc. Pet Insurance and the creator of the Contest. "We’ve received an incredible amount of entries from many states and Puerto Rico,. To witness firsthand such outpouring of compassion for animals gives us a boost of positive energy to continue to encourage responsible pet ownership, enhance health coverage for pets, and find ways to assist in the best possible care for beloved pets.”

“Our sincere congratulations and thanks go out to all candidates for their dedication. Keep on doing your amazing work!” added Mr. Wycoff.

The 2017 Animaltarian of the Year Award finalists are (in alphabetical order):
1. Bullies without Borders of Virginia Beach, VA;
2. Clinica Veterinaria Rio Grande of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico;
3. Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue, Inc. of Dallas, GA;
4. Hawkeye and Friends Dog Rescue and Sanctuary of Imlay City, MI;
5. Howling Woods Farm of Jackson, NJ;
6. Josh and His Critters of Sun Valley, CA;
7. Phoenix Animal Rescue of Pottstown, PA; and
8. The Mr. Mo Project of Clifton Park, NY

New to the 2017 Contest, an industry-leading panel of judges voted in the finalist voting round in addition to the public. Josh and His Critters, scored the most votes from the public and the panel of judges. The panel of five judges, all experts in the animal welfare field, are:

  • Dr. Debra Primovic, DVM: Dr. Primovic holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Ohio State University, devoting her talents at emergency and critical care hospitals. For over a decade, Dr. Primovic served as Editor-in-Chief of PetPlace.com where she authored hundreds of articles that help pet owners as well as veterinarians.
  • Dr. David Ruslander, DVM, DACVIM, DACVR: Dr. Ruslander is a double board certified radiation and medical oncologist. He serves as chief oncologist for a group of private veterinary emergency and specialty clinics. Prior to private practice, Dr. Ruslander was on staff at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. He is also a renowned speaker and author. His long-time involvement in cutting edge cancer research has resulted in great advancements in canine and feline cancer treatment. He received his veterinary degree from Cornell University and completed a medical oncology residency at the Tufts University.
  • Donnie and Donna Graves: Co-founders of Nectar of the Dogs (along with friends Melanie Garibay and Todd Sobleski), exclusive limited edition wines created to marry their passion for the dogs that changed their lives and their love of good wines. Sales from each wine varietal support different dog rescue groups. Additionally, Donnie and Donna have rescued countless dogs from high kill shelters for over 10 years.
  • Patrice Bayer: Patrice is a Registered Veterinary Technician and joined PetPartners 14 years ago. She has 15 years of prior veterinary medical experience working in small animal hospitals. Patrice is the Operations Manager, overseeing claims, customer service and production teams.
  • John Wycoff: John is President of PetPartners , and he has served in many roles since joining the company in 2010. His life-long passion for animal welfare goes beyond the boardroom where he supports various pet-health related initiatives, including the creation of the Animaltarian Contest.

To see the list of 2017 candidates and their entry submissions, please visit http://www.PetPartners.com/Animaltarian/2017/entries. Official Contest Rules are available at http://www.PetPartners.com/Animaltarian. Additionally, please follow Animaltarian of the Year via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AnimaltarianOfTheYear throughout the year.

For more information on the Animaltarian of the Year Award Contest or PetPartners pet health insurance, please contact Jeena Choi at 917-882-0960 or Jeena.Choi@IHCGroup.com.

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About PetPartners Inc.
PetPartners, Inc. provides pet health insurance in all 50 States, offering products to individuals and groups (such as associations, companies and credit unions). Since 2002, PetPartners has been the exclusive provider of pet health insurance protection to registrants of The American Kennel Club through the AKC Pet Insurance brand. In 2006, PetPartners was selected by the Cat Fanciers' Association, one of the largest registries of purebred cats, to provide health insurance to CFA registrants. PetPartners was founded by Sir John D. Spurling, a leading British innovator in pet insurance who remains on its Board of Directors. PetPartners became a member of The IHC Group in 2017. For more information, please visit http://www.PetPartners.com.

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Jeena Choi
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