Maximus, Wolfie and Turbo dominate local voting

Idyllwild has voted. The results were totaled, no recounts requested nor investigations initiated. The winners of the Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild photo contest were announced March 1.

Maximus (far left) was the canine Pet of the Year in the Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild photo contest.

Maximus was the most popular dog, Wolfie led the cat contingent and Turbo, an Australian rat, was a landslide winner in the “other” animal category.

The contest raised almost $6,400 for ARF. Some of that money will be used for pet owners who cannot afford health care for their animals. ARF had received a grant for this purpose and nearly half the funds have been used, according to Janice Murasko, ARF director.

Maximus, a rescue from Living Free Animal Sanctuary, narrowly defeated Stoli O’Rocks. Maximus outpolled Stoli by 40 votes, with both receiving more than 1,100 votes. The third-place finisher, Orca, garnered 662 votes. The canine category attracted 14 participants.

Wolfie (left) was chosen the most popular cat in the ARF photo contest.
courtesy Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild

The feline contest also had 14 contestants. But Wolfie, with 361 votes, easily out paced the second-place finisher Sunny, who received 250 votes.

The other category (neither dog nor cat) had five participants and Turbo dominated the voting. In a landslide, Turbo had 130 votes compared to 20 for the second most popular “other” animal — Roxi du bar, an equine, with 20 votes. Murasko expressed some surprise that there were not more contestants in this group.

Grateful to the winners, their human guardians will enjoy a case of Baily Wine, donated by Baily Winery, Temecula. Each bottle’s label will feature a photo of the winning pet.

The Uptown Bar at Café Aroma will create a specialty cocktail named for each winner and offer it on its menu. A set of etched wine glasses featuring the contest title and pet’s name will be donated by Idyllwild Decal and Design.

Of course, the winning pets and their guardians will be invited to ride on the ARF float in the annual Fourth of July parade.

Pat Eastman nominated and cares for Maximus, Wolfie’s human caretaker is Bonnie Keefer and Joanne Selby is responsible for Turbo.

Turbo, an Australian rat, was the most popular “other” animal.

The second- and third-place contestants will be able to benefit their owners, too. Portraits, jewelry from Pawsomeness and a complimentary tasting and tour at Powell Mountain Cellars in Paso Robles are the rewards for finishing second. The third-place winners will receive a gift basket filled with donations from local merchants.