2018 Animaltarian of the Year

Pet Insurance  •   Maggie Dean  •   Jul 25, 2018


What is an Animaltarian?

An Animaltarian can be a person, an organization, or even an animal that devotes a great amount of time and energy to the betterment of animal well-being. From your local shelter volunteers to therapy goats, we want to give back to those who have a genuine kindness in their hearts. For some examples, see videos on our Facebook page!


How does the contest work?

For eight weeks, Animaltarians or their supporters are invited to submit their entries. Once all entries have been received, the voting begins! Each of our nominees has the chance to share their unique applicant link with their followers, friends, family and fans to drum up as many votes as they can. Once we have a list of our top 8 entries, a group of esteemed judges will help with a weighted vote on who will be our 2018 Animaltarian of the Year.


How can we choose just one?

While we wish we could donate $5000 to all of our nominees, only one will win the Animaltarian title in the end. Public voting will set a final 8 submissions above the rest. Our panel of qualified judges has been chosen to provide fair, honest feedback about each of our 8 finalists’ entries. See below for more details on our judges:

  1. John Wycoff is the President of PetPartners, Inc. and creator of the Animaltarian of the Year contest. He has been devoted to the company and its cause since 2010, when he began as an IT consultant to improve PetPartners’ digital capabilities. He has since instilled many culturally defining traditions - such as this contest- and served as a judge to select the 2017 Animaltarian of the Year.
  2. Patrice Bayer is the Operations Manager at PetPartners Pet Insurance with extensive veterinary knowledge and experience. She has spent a total of 14 years committed to PetPartners - using her years as a registered veterinary technician and A.S. in veterinary medicine to bring insight to the pet insurance company. Patrice also participated in the 2017 Animaltarian of the Year judges’ panel.
  3. Dr. Sharon Albright, DVM, is the Manager of Communications and Veterinary Outreach of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. Prior to joining the AKC CHF, Dr. Albright took part in the Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, gathering information providing insight on canine cancer, nutrition, environment and lifestyle.
  4. Dr. David Ruslander, DVM, DACVIM, DCVR is double board-certified in both medical and radiation oncology. He served on staff at NC State Vet School, Tufts University Vet School, and University of Zurich Vet School in Switzerland. He is now Chief of Service of Medical and Radiation Oncology at a large emergency and specialty practice with locations around the Triangle.
  5. Tom Tholen is Senior Vice President of Marketing & Development at the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators. As President of The Companion Channel and President/Chief Marketing Officer for Callahan Creek, Mr. Tholen has had years of experience marketing in the shelters and rescues space. His devotion to promoting animal welfare suits him perfectly as our fifth judge this year!


When does the contest begin?

On August 1, 2018, PetPartners will begin accepting submissions for the 5th Annual Animaltarian of the Year Award! Until September 25, all entrants are welcome to submit their videos or photos. From September 27th to October 24th, our candidates have the opportunity to advocate for themselves and drum up votes. Sharing their voting link on social media and with followers, volunteers, and subscribers will give any organization a greater chance of becoming a finalist. There will be eight finalists chosen and from October 26th to November 8th, they will run their final campaign to win! On November 11, our Animaltarian of the Year 2018 will be announced.

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Maggie Dean

About the Author
Maggie Dean

Maggie Dean is the proud owner of a Bichon Frise / Cocker Spaniel mix named Rocco and a Holland Lop rabbit, Bunson. She’s been the Inbound Marketer at AKC Pet Insurance since 2016 but has had a passion for animals her whole life. If you’re an animal lover, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to keep up with all things cute, funny, and interesting!