Place Your Pets: Announcing Petplan’s 2018 “Tournament of Tails” Contestants

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Bracket-style contest raises awareness and donations for competing shelter pets

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Each of the 32 rescue shelters in the Tournament of Tails is represented by an adoptable pet, who will have a “player card” featuring their photo and story on the tournament website. The nose-to-nose matchups last one calendar day, and the pet who earns the most votes will move on to the next round.

Petplan pet insurance announced the competitors for its fifth annual Tournament of Tails today. The bracket-style challenge, which lets fans vote for their pet picks, begins Monday, March 12, with participating shelters going paw-to-paw for their share of nearly $11,000 in donations.

Each of the 32 rescue shelters in the Tournament of Tails is represented by an adoptable pet, who will have a “player card” featuring their photo and story on the tournament website at beginning on March 12. The nose-to-nose matchups last one calendar day, and the pet who earns the most votes will move on to the next round.

But no pet goes home empty-pawed. Those bounced from the Terrific 32 receive a $100 donation for their shelters; players whose run ends at the Super 16 receive $200; pets knocked off in the Great 8 round receive $300; and those who make it to the Final Fur net an impressive $500 each.

The Tournament ends with a one-day championship matchup on Wednesday, April 4, and the winner will take home a $5,000 grand prize donation for their organization.

The Terrific 32 for 2018 (first-round matchups will be announced closer to the tournament start date):

1. Bear, representing Animal Friends of Pittsburgh, PA

2. Scotty, representing Animal Rescue League of Berks County of Birdsboro, PA

3. Rita, representing Boxer Luv Rescue of Phoenix, AZ

4. Thumper, representing Canine Cellmates of Norcross, GA

5. Chester, representing Chez Malinois Rescue Garage of North Port, FL

6. Pepsi, representing Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue of Reinholds, PA

7. Pepper, representing Dog Star Rescue of Canton, CT

8. Poppy, representing Dogue de Bordeaux Rescue, Inc. of Sutherlin, OR

9. Lucky, representing Dumb Friends League of Denver, CO

10. Thaddeus, representing Friends for Life of Houston, TX

11. Mrs. Buttersworth, representing The Good Life Bulldog Rescue of Omaha, NE

12. Ringo, representing Happy Go Lucky Mastiff Rescue of Flintstone, MD

13. Newt, representing Humane Society of Southern Arizona of Tucson, AZ

14. Prince, representing Nevada SPCA of Las Vegas, NV

15. Rosie, representing North Shore Animal League America of Port Washington, NY

16. Little Mama, representing Northeast Animal Shelter of Salem, MA

17. Riley, representing Oregon Humane Society of Portland, OR

18. Chance, representing Paws for Seniors of Bealeton, VA

19. MacGyver, representing Pennsylvania SPCA of Philadelphia, PA

20. Marge, representing The Pet Rescue Center of Laguna Beach, CA

21. Blade, representing Providence Animal Center of Media, PA

22. Buffie, representing RBARI (Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge) of Oakland, NJ

23. Akita, representing San Antonio Humane Society of San Antonio, TX

24. MJ, representing Save-A-Pet of Grayslake, IL

25. Milo, representing Save a Small Dog Rescue, Inc. of Phelan, CA

26. Dr. Tay, representing Saving Grace of San Francisco, CA

27. Starsky, representing SPCA of Texas of Dallas, TX

28. BamBam, representing Tiny Tails K-9 Rescue of Manhattan, MT

29. Brad, representing To Love a Canine Rescue, Inc. of Kimberton, PA

30. Emma, representing Tucker County Animal Shelter of Parsons, WV

31. Jammers, representing Wayside Waifs of Kansas City, MO

32. Moe, representing Women’s Humane Society of Bensalem, PA

The schedule is as follows:

  • Terrific 32: March 12–21
  • Super 16: March 22–27
  • Great 8: March 28–29
  • Final Fur: April 2
  • Championship: April 4

2017’s Tournament of Tails had two big winners: Flora, a charismatic Pit Bull mix representing Secondhand Hounds of Eden Prairie, MN, and Igor, a vocal cat with a distinctive head tilt representing Morris Animal Refuge of Philadelphia, PA. Fans were so enthusiastic about both pet picks that Petplan elected to make Flora and Igor co-champions, with each taking home a $5,000 donation for their respective charities.

So who will claw their way to the top this year?

“I think we can expect the rivalries to be fierce,” says Petplan co-founder and co-CEO Natasha Ashton. “But at the end of the day, it’s not about the competition; it’s about lending support and recognizing organizations across the country who work tirelessly to help pets like Flora and Igor find families. We’re all playing for the same worthy cause.”

For more information about the tournament, pet players and to vote, visit the Tournament of Tails website at, beginning on March 12.

Petplan has built an industry-leading pet insurance policy for pet parents who demand a higher pedigree of care for their best friends. We’ve leveraged 40 years of global experience to create completely customizable coverage pet parents can feel confident in, and world-class claims service — 24 hours a day, every day.

Petplan’s innovative approach to pet insurance has been recognized by Forbes, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Inc. magazine, Smart CEO, the Communicator Awards, Ernst & Young and many others.

Petplan policies are underwritten in the United States by AGCS Marine Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group (rated A+ A.M. Best), and XL Specialty Insurance Company; and in Canada by XL Specialty Insurance Company - Canadian Branch. XL Specialty Insurance Company is rated A+ by S&P (2018). Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. For more information about Petplan pet insurance, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.

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Greg Wiley
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