Cats, take a meow. Dogs, bark it from the rooftops: Petplan has crowned Igor from Morris Animal Refuge and Flora from Secondhand Hounds co-champions in its fourth annual Tournament of Tails. The bracket-inspired online tournament features 32 dogs and cats competing for their shelters in friendly “nose-to-nose” matchups.
Between March 13 and April 3, animal lovers across America cast a record 261,496 votes to advance their favorite furballs to the next round. The massive love and website traffic for these two deserving rescues broke the internet, leaving some clawing at a chance to vote. As a result, this year’s two finalists will share wagging rights, each taking home a $5,000 donation from Petplan for their respective shelters.
The donations and development resources for Tournament of Tails come via Petplanthropy, Petplan’s official philanthropic initiative.
The feline victor, Igor, is a 3 year old with just as much attitude as the city from which he hails. The Philadelphia-born champ is a vocal guy who loves making his presence known during play time. Igor has a neurological condition that led to his characteristic head tilt. His winning personality made him a favorite at the Refuge, and earned him a new home after his appearance in the bracket.
Over on the dog side, our winner is Flora, a charismatic canine from Secondhand Hounds who would love to be a part of someone’s family. Flora is a loving, eager-to-please pit bull who has been in rescue for over two years. She came to Secondhand Hounds in 2014 while she was pregnant with 11 pups. She has a sweet personality and is great with puppies, as she raised her own, but would be happiest as the only dog in the house. Flora’s ready to find her fur-ever home.
“It’s great fun watching the fur fly, and this year’s matchups had us on the edge of our seats,” said Natasha Ashton, co-founder and co-CEO of Petplan. “We are excited to crown co-champions this year, and to keep putting pets first in everything we do—whether that’s supporting shelters like Morris Animal Refuge and Secondhand Hounds or helping pets live longer, healthier lives with pet insurance.”