AC Pup bests nearly 3,300 dogs to win national DogTV contest

lmorris@macon.comOctober 4, 2013 

Macon’s AC Pup won a national contest Friday to be the face of DogTV.

“We’re just insane, we’re so excited that our Macon dog did it,” said Patti Jones, chairwoman of Central Georgia CARES. Jones entered AC Pup in the contest for the nonprofit animal advocacy group in the name of AC’s owners, Tracie and Van VanDeWalker. Tracie VanDeWalker is a member of the CARES board of directors.

“This is just a wonderful thing to celebrate,” Jones said. “We are all just ecstatic that AC Pup has won the DogTV logo.”

Nearly 3,300 entries were submitted, and DogTV whittled that number down to 100 and held an online contest on its Facebook page. Voting ended Monday.

AC Pup received 3,120 votes, pulling ahead of a dog named Oakley by a nose -- just 27 votes.

“AC Pup and Oakley were neck and neck up until the finish,” Liz Hilton, a public relations representative for DogTV, said by email. “Oakley was actually in the lead the final day of the contest, but AC Pup came in for the win in the last few hours.”

On Friday, on World Animal Day, AC Pup was featured throughout the day on DogTV.

AC’s photo in the contest showed the mixed-breed canine sporting a jaunty beret.

“That beret was my daddy’s, who just died in January,” Jones said.

DogTV airs on channel 354 on DIRECTV, 24 hours a day, seven days a week with programing specifically developed “to provide the right company for dogs when left alone,” according to the network’s website.

All contest entrants won a number of prizes -- including a gift card for pet boarding and discounts for tags and collars -- but as the top dog, AC lapped up a long list of goodies, including:

• A gift certificate for a free week’s stay at any Furlocity pet boarding facility in the U.S.

• One year’s worth of monthly shipments from PetBox. Each box of goodies has a minimum value of $40.

• A personalized tag and collar and two years of free premium service from PetHub -- a pet ID tag that links to the pet’s online data that shows emergency contacts, medications and dietary information.

• A gift basket from the Dog is Good company.

• A handcrafted collar and matching leash from Just Fur Fun.

AC Pup has been the mascot of Central Georgia CARES for the past four years. In April, he was named the national mascot of more than 300 Homeless Pet Clubs across the nation.

In addition, AC Pup has a weekly column in The Telegraph that encourages adoptions of rescued animals.

To reach writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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