(LOS ANGELES, Feb. 22, 2012) – Two pooches from Southern California were selected as top dogs in the latest annual AAA PetBook® Photo Contest sponsored by Best Western, a AAA Preferred Hotel Partner. The four-legged winners will enjoy a year of fame on the 14th edition Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook®, available this May.
Along with cover glory, winners also enjoy a year of star treatment on the AAA.com/PetBook photo gallery. Plus they receive additional contest prizes, including cash, pet treats, copies of the book and a Best Western Travel Card® usable at more than 4,000 hotels worldwide, including more than 1,600 pet-friendly properties.
The first-place winner, a Tibetan terrier named Lady, GCH Starlight’s Lady in Waiting, from Torrance, will be pictured on the book’s back cover on a scenic overlook at beautiful Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. As a show dog Lady is used to being the center of attention, but she doesn’t always have the luxury of being able to see the sights. “When we extended our trip last year to go to Crater Lake, Lady has a blast!” said owner Cassandra Basgall. “Our dogs are our family. It’s hard to leave home without them.”
The second-place winner, Maggie, an American Eskimo/Pomeranian mix from Placentia, will be featured on the book’s spine in a photo taken during a trek through Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. “Our dogs are our kids. We try to take them whenever we can,” said owner Wendy Gillroy. “Maggie doesn’t even mind the long drive as long as we’re going to be outdoors.”
This year, as a special addition to first- and second-place contest winners, an exceptional photo held over from a previous contest will appear on the front cover of the 14th edition AAA PetBook. Chase, a Shetland sheepdog from Aloha, Ore., will be shown enjoying the open space at Oregon’s Cannon Beach. ”When Chase isn’t on the beach trying to ‘herd’ the waves, he is in town charming other tourists and trolling for head scratches,” says Chase’s owner, Curtis H. Smith.
Many Americans view their pets as full-fledged family members. They long to hit the road with their canine or feline companions, but hesitate for fear of not finding accommodations that accept four-legged friends. Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook® provides listings for more than 14,000 pet-friendly AAA Approved accommodations in the U.S. and Canada. These include thousands of Diamond Rated hotels as well as some 600 campgrounds.
The detailed lodging listings include fees, permitted pet sizes and conditions of stay for properties at every Diamond Rating level including -- for pampered pets -- AAA Five Diamond Award® hotels. The book also includes information about pet-friendly activities, planning tips, travel safety.
Photos of winners and runners up, contest rules, entry forms and valuable pet travel tips can be accessed at AAA.com/PetBook. The next photo contest opens in May when copies of the 14th edition Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook hit the shelves at participating AAA and CAA offices, bn.com and fine bookstores. The cover price is $18.95 U.S.
The Auto Club and AAA offer the following pet-travel preparation tips:
- Get a clean bill of health from the veterinarian. Obtain and pack up-to-date proof of inoculations.
- Brush up on good behavior. Unfamiliar travel situations may test the temperament of even the most well-behaved pet.
- Learn about your destination. Be aware of safety and health risks at your destination and plan accordingly.
- Determine the best mode of transportation. Whether you’re traveling by car, air or other options, consider any restrictions on pet type and size before you go.
- Pack as carefully for your pet as you do for yourself. Consult the checklist of necessary items included in the PetBook.