Jacksonville Humane Society crowns alum ‘cutest pet’ winner


The Jacksonville Humane Society held its annual cutest pet contest, and this year’s winner was Charlotte.

The contest was held during the month of August and raised $51,725 that will go towards the compassion and care of dogs and cats that the Jacksonville Humane Society has been proud of for years.

This year’s winner seems even more fitting because she was once a member of the humane society and was adopted in June 2023 by Cici Anderson, who is also a board member for the Jacksonville Humane Society and a proponent of everything they do to help local animals.

“I’ve been a supporter of the humane society ever since I moved back to the area in 2001,” Anderson said. “So much of an event like this is growing awareness. It’s a win-win event for all those involved.”

Since adopting Charlotte, Anderson has gotten to know her and experience her personality firsthand on several occasions, as she has become a loving part of their family, including becoming instant friends with her new brother Cash the cat.

“She is a foodie, loves to ride in the car and enjoys playing with her feline brother,” Anderson said. “She’s a real lover and a jumper.”

Charlotte is two years old and although she is a mix, she has a lot of Yorkshire terrier in her.

“We always love when alums win our contests,” said Lindsay Layendecker, director of community partnerships.

According to Layendecker, the cutest pet contest is in its fourth year after it was created in 2020 as just another unique way to get the local community of animal lovers involved.

“We saw how the contest was so uplifting and such a fun-loving way for people to interact, which was really needed during the pandemic, so we decided to keep it going,” Layendecker said. “So much

The funds raised from the contest will go a long way in helping the Jacksonville Humane Society achieve its goals, because they do not receive any funding from the government as the result of being a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

As the grand prize winner, Charlotte will be featured on digital billboards across Jacksonville thanks to Clear Channel Outdoor.

“I came down to the wire, and Charlotte and I were watching the computer together as we watched the last-minute votes come in,” Anderson said. “I can’t explain how special it will be to be driving down the road and all of a sudden see her face on a giant billboard.”

She will also receive a prize pack from the Jacksonville Humane Society and Subaru of Jacksonville, as well as a one-hour professional photoshoot and be featured on the front page of the society’s website throughout the year.

“Her (Charlotte’s) calendar is getting quite full ever since she won,” Anderson said.

Charlotte was one of 12 finalists after an initial 430 entrants were narrowed down through voting at jaxhumane.org.

“The cutest pet contest is an amazing and fun way to bring our community together all while helping pets and people who love them,” Jacksonville Humane Society CEO Denise Deisler said. “Congratulations Charlotte and thank you to everyone who participated.”


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