2015 Writing Competition Nominees & Winners

Special Award Categories


All nominees receive certificates.
Winners receive cash awards.

Sponsors of the Special Awards are not involved in the judging.


The Adoptashelter.com Adopt a Homeless Dog Award

This award focuses on the plight of homeless dogs, the joy of dog adoption, and/or improving the quality of life of dogs in a shelter environment. Entries judged for quality as well as the ability to persuade the reader. Qualified online only entries, include single articles, features, columns, series of articles, short stories, websites, blogs, videos, photos, or any other accepted online venue. The award consists of $500 and inclusion in the http://Adoptashelter.com/ online library.

Robin Adams, DVGRR 2015 14th Annual Golden Gala “Because of You” – Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue – www.YouTube.com

Carol Bryant, “My Afternoon with Oogy” – www.fidoseofreality.com

Leila Grandemange, “That’s What Friends are For” – Royal Spaniels

Rachel Phelps, “10 Ways to Help Animals” (Petcha.com)


AKC Club Publication Excellence Award

Given to the best article in a national, regional, or local AKC Club publication in magazine or newsletter format. The award consists of a plaque and a $500 cash grant.

Mary Fish Arango, “The Threat of Calcium Deficiency After Whelping” – Borderlines, Border Collie Society of America

Peri Norman, “In Search of the Perfect Stud Dog” – Belgian Sheepdog Newsletter.

Peri Norman, “It’s Not About the Bitch! Breeding a Litter in a Complex World” – Belgian Sheepdog Newsletter.

Fiona Petersen, “Really, Nothing in Life is Free?” – The Corgi Cryer


AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Public Service Award

Sponsored by the American Kennel Club, this award goes to the writer of a print or online feature article that best educates pet owners about responsible dog ownership. The award consists of a plaque and a $500 cash grant.

Mary Fish Arango, “The Threat of Calcium Deficiency After “Whelping” (Borderlines, Border Collie Club of America)

Monique Balas, “Veterinarians Already Seeing Increase in Marijuana Toxicity in Pets” (The Oregonian)

Sally Deneen & Edie Lau, “Facial-recognition Apps Scout Lost Pets” (VIN News Service)

Lori Mauger, “Puppy Chronicle: New Tricks to Tame a Sassy Pup” (Bark Magazine)


AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy and Canine Good Citizen Award

Sponsored by the American Kennel Club, this award is given in recognition of the best writing about the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program or the puppy level of CGC, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy.

Recognized as the ‘gold standard’ for family dog manners, CGC and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy focus on teaching good manners to dogs and responsible dog ownership to dog owners. This award is a $500 cash award.

Ranny Green, “Service Dog Snoopy and Little Luke” – SeattleKennelclub.org

Nancy Tanner, “City Slicker Puppy” – Blog.Murdochs.com

Nancy Tanner, “My Number ONE Rule For My Puppy” – www.nancytanner.com

Susan Wager, “Puppy Training 101” – Pets and More.


AKC Microchipping Awareness Award Sponsored by The AKC Reunite Program

Sponsored by The AKC Reunite Program for the best article on microchips, pet recovery and the microchip database of not for profits vs. for profits. The Award is a $1500 cash grant.

Barbara Magera, “Preventive Measures for Keeping Your Dog Safe” (The Bulletin of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club)

Sharon Pflaumer, “Mandatory Microchipping Becomes Law in England” (Dog News)

Jen Reeder, “Find Me: Why Microchips Are Important”-Pets Matter (American Animal Hospital Association)

Kim Campbell Thornton, “Dog Theft” – The Royal Dispatch


Angel on a Leash Award

In honor of its therapy dog teams and programs around the country, this award is given for the beset newspaper or magazine article or television news feature about the impact of the use of therapy dogs in health care facilities. The award consists of a $250 cash grant.

Barbara E. Magera, “Playtime” – The Royal Spaniels

Sharon Pflaumer, “The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow” – Dog News

Victoria Livorney, “What’s a Snuggle?” – Home Guardian

Matt Strong, “Training for Love” – Companions at Large


The Captain Haggerty Award for Best Training Book or Article

Sponsored by Babette Haggerty of Haggerty Dog Training in memory of her father, Capt. Arthur Haggerty. Given to the best book or article on training. The award consists of a $200 cash grant.

Teoti Anderson, The Ultimate Guide to Dog Training – i-5 Publishing

Dawn Antoniak-Mitchell, Teach Your Herding Breed to be a Great Companion Dog – Dogwise Publishing

Peggy Swager, Rescue Your Dog From Fear – Lyons Press

Jane Young, Dog Teaching: Surviving a Puppy Without Losing Your Mind – CreateSpace


The Designated Dog Award

Sponsored by www.Designated Dog.com, this award represents the best submission in all forms of media about a service dog going above and beyond for a human companion. This award is a $350 cash grant.

Bud Boccone, “ACE Files: Meet the Dog Who Refused to Die” – AKC Family Dog

Sharon Pflaumer, “Patriot Paws” – Dog News

Bev Thompson, “One Size Does Not Fit All: Small Breeds That Serve” – www.anythingpawsable.com

Marty vanDuyne, “Paws for Purple Hearts – Service Dog Helps Vets Cope – The Free Lance-Star


DWAA Pat Santi Memorial Friends of Rescue Award

Sponsored by Alden Taylor, Fran Pennock Shaw, Ida Estep, Marsha Pugh, Susan Ewing and Elaine Gewirtz. It is given for the best article or book describing the rescue process; adoption, fostering, transporting, home visits or other aspects of rescue. $300 cash grant.

Jennifer Caloyeras, Strays – Ashland Creek Press

Andrei S. Markovits & Katherine N. Crosby, From Property to Family – University of Michigan Press

Teresa J. Rhyne, The Dogs Were Rescued and So Was I – Sourcebooks, Inc.

Meredith Wargo, “Aged to Perfection” – Rescue Me


DWAA Junior Writer Award

Sponsored by Karen Petit for writers under 18 years of age. This award recognizes and encourages young writers who exhibit talent, resourcefulness, dedication, and integrity in their writing about dogs and dog-related topics. The recipient receives a $400 cash grant, a DWAA Maxwell Medallion and a DWAA lapel pin.

Bonnie Brown, “Fluff and Brush” – Natural Grooming

Morgan Humphrey, “Scryer” – Independent Publishing

Heather Johnson, “My New Puppy” – The Acorn

Artis Severn, “Dream of a Lifetime” – Vena Avenue Newsletter

Taylor Wood, “A Beagle of My Own” – Farm and Pet


Dogwise Best Book Award

Sponsored by Dogwise Publishing, a $500 cash grant is given to the author of the best book. The DWAA president selects the winner from the winners of all of the book categories.

Marthina Greer, DVM, JD, Canine Reproduction and Neonatology (Teton New Media)


James Colasanti, Jr. Poetry Award

For the poem/poetry which best exemplifies the unconditional love of a dog. Sponsored by James Colasanti, Jr. this award is a $200 cash grant.

Leila Grandemange, “That’s What Friends Are For” – Royal Spaniels

Jim Lee, “Double Parking” – Royal Spaniels

Lee Netzler, “Merlin” – Scottie Scuttlebutt, Rocky Mountain Scottish Terrier Club

Wanda Thomas, “Couch Potato” – The Arleta Gazette


North Shore Animal League America Award

For all media which best supports the missions of the League’s program, encouraging spay/neuter initiatives as a way of reducing unwanted births and pet euthanasia rates. The focus may include community-wide programs or the individual responsibility of pet owners. This is award is a $500 cash grant.

Monique Balas, “Pet Talk: Spaying and Neutering Keeps Pets and Pet Population Healthy” – The Oregonian

S. Marriott Cook, “A Home For Abigail” – Jabberwocky

Kelly Cabell Pulley, “Diversity” – Dogster

Kim Campbell Thornton, “Dog and Cat Spay/Neuter Myths Debunked” – Vetstreet.com


Planet Dog Foundation Sit. Speak. Act. Canine Service Award

For all media, this award is given to the best story promoting and celebrating a program in which dogs serve and support their best friends by highlighting service dogs, therapy dogs, K-9 search and rescue, or police dogs. The award consists of a $500 cash grant.

The Companion (Canine Companions For Independence Northeast Region)

Sharon Pflaumer, “The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow” – Dog News

Jen Reeder, “Not Your Typical Grandma,”- Modern Dog Magazine.

Bev Thompson, “Homeless Dogs Get a Second Chance as Service Dogs” – www.anythingpawsable.com


Nominees & Winners: Regular Categories


Previous Year’s Nominees and Winners


Writing Competition Logo

Regular Category Winners and Special Award Winners will be announced at the DWAA banquet on February 14, 2016. All nominees receive certificates. Winners receive the DWAA Maxwell Medallion, named in honor of the late Maxwell Riddle.

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