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The American Kennel Club® (AKC) is pleased to announce the winners of the AKC Canine Partners℠ Photo Contest. From Nov. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2009 hundreds of people submitted photos of their dogs for the AKC Canine Partners judging panel to consider. The panel selected twenty winners consisting of 5 favorites and 15 finalists for their charming good looks and the heartwarming testimonies that accompanied their entries. The 20 contest winners received special AKC recognition on the organization’s web site.

“We received so many wonderful photos and stories that it was very difficult for the panel of judges to make their final selections,” said AKC Spokesperson Gina DiNardo. “Congratulations to the owners of these unique dogs who are not only cute canines, but best friends with which they share a special bond.”

The five AKC Canine Partners Photo Contest favorites are:

"Bree" owned by Betty Nagle
“Bree” owned by Betty Nagle
Middlesboro, Ky.

Nagle wrote: “Bree is a one-of-a-kind terrier mix with bright eyes, shining black coat, with one ear up and one down. A 12 pound bundle of energy, she is loving agility training.”

"Rocky" owned by Hannah Troupe
“Rocky” owned by Hannah Troupe
Allendale, Mich.

Troupe wrote: “I fell in love with him at once! I have had him for almost five years and have had so much fun showing him in 4-H.”

"Sadie" owned by Kathleen Dale
“Sadie” owned by Kathleen Dale
Spokane, Wash.

Dale wrote: “She is the best dog for me and I am the best owner for her– a match made in heaven.”

"Zoë" owned by Kim Chappell
“Zoë” owned by Kim Chappell
Cambridge, N.Y.

Chappell wrote: “Zoë is… a once in a lifetime dog. She thrives on interacting with people, especially children.”

“Zoe” owned by Anne Goldenberger
Kirkland, Wash.

Goldenberger wrote: “I am so lucky to have Zoe as my first obedience and agility dog. She and I have an incredible connection.”

Bree, Rocky, Sadie, Zoë and Zoe are all listed in AKC Canine Partners, a new program for mixed-breed dogs. Starting April 1, 2010, dogs with an AKC Canine Partners℠ listing number will be eligible to participate in AKC Agility, Obedience and Rally trials accepting mixed-breed entries. Additional program benefits include lifetime enrollment in AKC CAR Lost & Found Recovery Service, a complimentary 60-Day trial of the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan, a one-year subscription to AKC Family Dog magazine, an AKC Canine Partners℠ Certificate and an AKC Canine Partners Decal.