Police guard dogs weren’t the only animals at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Bark Buckle UP was on site to showcase pet safety demos and conduct their fifth annual TOP DOG contest. Christina Selter, “Pet Safety Lady” and founder of Bark Buckle UP, the go-to-experts on pet travel safety, was stationed at the AutoTrader booth. Using rescue pups as her models, she showed the audience how to use products to make “car travel safer, more comfortable and convenient for pets and their people.”
Selter was also there to introduce the celebrity judges for the TOP DOG PHOTO contest. The public was instructed to upload photos of their pet with their car on topdogphotocontest.com with a chance to win prizes from QPG Sherpa, a leader in pet safety travel products and accessories.
The high-profile judges included Rescue Ink, a group of tough-talking, tattooed bikers that fight against animal abuse and neglect, AutoTrader car experts, Brian Balthazar, a comedian and TV commentator, representatives from the New York Auto Show and, of course, Christina Selter.
“The event ran for only 72 hours and we had over one million votes,” Selter told AutoTrader. “Three days and more than one million votes. That puts us in the same category as American Idol,” she laughed.
The winners were announced at the NYIAS, a sponsor of Bark Buckle UP. “Although the contestants were all amazingly cute, the winner was based on safety not cuteness,” remarked Selter.
That said – the winners were all exceedingly adorable.
Peanut, the small dog winner, is a tiny four-year-old Chihuahua from Islip NY, who loves her owner Nancy Buckler’s Nissan Sentra and rides safely in his doggie booster seat buckled up every time.
Peanut’s proud mom said, “Peanut sits safely in a booster seat and is able to see out the window! I keep another seat hooked up for my grand doggie too. Nothing is cuter than looking in the mirror and seeing their little heads and knowing I am keeping them from harm!”
Jenny, who won for medium dog, is a rescue from North Shore Special. A terrier mix, Jenny lives with her forever family in Garden City, NY. She rides in her Doggie Carrier in owner Joann Wolf’s Ford Mustang.
Wolf exclaimed, “Jenny is just thrilled to have been chosen! Congratulations to all of the other contestants. She loves her blue box carrier and plays with it even while not in the car.”
The large dog winner, Mowgli, is a 100-pound Goldendoodle (mother is a Golden Retriever and dad is a Standard Poodle). Mowgli, who hails from Woodmere, NY, loves his owner Madeline Polen’s BMW 535 Sports Wagon with seat extender.
Mowgli’s owner exclaimed, ”Woohoo! Thanks guys! Mowgli is a registered therapy dog – we volunteer twice weekly in schools as a READ dog and in assisted living facilities.”
The overall winner, TOP DOG, was Jenny. She got the loudest shout out from the audience at the auto show. That’s kind of like American Idol. Right?
For more information visit www.BarkBuckleUP.com
For information on donating to Rescue Ink visit www.rescueink.org.
HOLLY REICH writes about cars, travel, lifestyle and more. Her work has been featured in publications that include: Elite Traveler, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Boston Herald. She contributes monthly to Motor Matters syndicate and her blog, "Riffs on Rides," appears on uptownlife.net.