Pet Idol contest returns

3 months ago

IRON MOUNTAIN — Time again to let everyone know you have one special pet.

This is the 11th year of The Daily News’ popular Pet Idol competition, inviting residents in the region to share that prized animal companion they have at home, be it cat or dog, parrot or pony, guinea pig or goat, cow or lizard, snake or pigeon.

The public then gets to make the call on who will be the next Pet Idol, with the first round of voting kicking off Wednesday, April 17.

“It will allow readers to choose their favorite pet from submitted photos,” said Jennifer Flynn, Daily News circulation manager.

The contest is a fundraiser for the Newspaper in Education program that provides newspapers to area school districts and teachers for classroom use.

Ava, a then 4-year-old white standard poodle owned by Liza and Russell Cram of Iron Mountain, was the Pet Idol winner in 2023 and “is doing great,” Liza Cram said.

While serving as the face of NIE for The Daily News, Ava still had time this past year to become a service dog for Liza Cram, owner of Liza’s Pampered Pets Grooming Salon in Kingsford, who said she has some back and hip issues that can affect her balance.

Ava now knows how to accompany Cram up stairs to stabilize her, and will stand alongside her if Cram falls, providing support to get back up, Liza Cram said. Ava received her formal certification as a service dog in October and is very serious about her new role, her owner said.

“When I put that vest on her, it’s all work, no play,” Cram said.

The reigning Pet Idol winner made an appearance at The Daily News Spring Craft Show on March 16, where vendors and the public did recognize her as “the dog from the newspaper,” Cram said.

Pets can be entered now through Wednesday, April 10. To participate, readers should submit a photo of their living pet — please, no “In Memoriam” entries.

The contest is open to all types of critters, Flynn said, with no limit on entries — and yes, you can enter the same pet more than once but each requires a $5 donation.

There is no limit on voting, either — ballot stuffing is encouraged, she said — but a 25-cent donation is needed to cast each vote.

Proceeds go to the Newspaper in Education program that provides newspapers to area school districts and teachers for classroom use.

The Pet Idol winner will be featured with the owner on the front page of The Daily News, plus receive a trophy donated by BK Enterprises.

The top pet also will be the mascot for the NIE program for the 2024-25 school year.

The contest has three rounds, with all entries vying at the start. The field will be cut in half after each round, with the highest vote-getters advancing.

All votes will carry forward into each round.

Pet photos and ballot will be published in The Daily News a few times each week. Those wanting to vote can also make copies of the ballot or pick up extra ones at The Daily News office, 215 E. Ludington St. in Iron Mountain.

In the event of a tie, a tie-breaker will be conducted. All decisions are final and donations are non-refundable.

The Daily News and Powers Printing employees and their immediate families are not eligible to win the contest.

Photos must be of good quality, in black and white or color but at least 3-by-5 inches in size. Only one pet can be shown per picture and the photo should only be of the pet.

By entering a photo, permission is given to submit the owner and pet’s information in the contest.

The Daily News reserves the right to refuse any photo deemed unsuitable.

An entry form can be found on page A-7 of today’s Daily News.

Entries either can be mailed to: The Daily News, Attention: Jennifer Flynn, P.O. Box 460, Iron Mountain, MI 49801; dropped off at The Daily News office; or emailed to

The Daily News must receive all entry forms and pet photos by the close of business at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 10.

Entry forms should include owner’s name, address and phone number, along with the name of the pet. Photos can be picked up at The Daily News office at the end of the sweepstakes.

Participation means entrants agree they are bound to the official rules and all decisions made by The Daily News regarding the sweepstakes.

Ballots and donations can be dropped off or mailed to the newspaper by the deadlines posted.

Votes for round one will be accepted starting April 17 until close of business May 1. Voting for round two will be May 6 until close of business May 17.

The third and final round of voting will be May 22 until close of business June 5. The winner will be notified by phone and a front-page article will announce the winner at a later date.

Again, all proceeds benefit the NIE program with area schools. For more information or for teachers to sign up to get The Daily News in their classroom, contact Flynn at 906-774-2772, ext. 218.…Read more by


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