Meet 2020 Remember Me Thursday® Contest Winners
Since its inception, Remember Me Thursday® has touched over 1 billion people across the world by advocating for pet adoption. Rescue pets have a profound impact on our lives and to remember them, we launched our annual Remember Me Thursday® contest to give back to the organizations who perform life-saving work!
Here are the winners from the 5,594 contest submissions we received this year:
First Place Winner – Alastor Mini Moody, adopted from Berkshire Humane Society
“Alastor Moody is my loving adolescent kitten. He was born with a missing eye, with the other eye partially blind. He was found in the woods, thrown away for his abnormalities. He was matted badly, sores on his gums and a broken tooth and badly emaciated.
My family and I had moved and I said once we settled we’d go look for a small dog that would be good for me because I have acute anxiety, bipolar disorder and chronic pain. We went to Berkshire Humane Society to look for a dog. But something in my heart told me to look at cats, even though I am not a huge cat person. I noticed a door with, “I am 7 months old. I am Feline herpes positive. I love to snuggle.”
I looked through the window, scanning for this boy. I didn’t immediately see him as he was sleeping in his tower. I called my kids and husband over and he looked up, got so excited he fell off his tower! I was in love. Being Harry Potter fans, I named him Alastor Moody after the one-eyed teacher Mr. Moody.
As a person who is bipolar and anxious, I also have mild agoraphobia so I don’t often leave home. Sometimes I have mood swings that cause me to spiral into a manic episode of sadness and anger. The first episode I had after getting Alastor, I was zoned out of reality, and just couldn’t shake it. He could tell something was not right, so he meowed, and loudly. I snapped to and immediately grabbed and hugged him. His meowing was unexpected because he is a silent meower. From the day we got him he [had] made just the motion of meowing. More than once he has pulled me out of a downward spiral, and I am forever grateful for him because those moments terrify me.
He likes to play rough and he can fetch. He comes to his name and sometimes he answers me back. I guess in a way, I got my small dog. Just a cat-dog. He has an Instagram (@alastor_mini_moody). There you can see more photos and videos.”
“My name is Natalie and I’m a survivor of a violent crime. This is my story about a magnificent rescue dog named Mugsy who was given a second chance, and in turn, gave me one too. Thirteen years ago, I was at work when a man held me at gunpoint and demanded I give him money. I gave him all the money in the safe, but he assaulted and shot me anyway. I suffered severe head trauma and lost vision in my right eye, but most of all, I lost my courage and my sense of safety. I became paralyzed by fear, and couldn’t even leave my house.
For years, I battled with PTSD, agoraphobia, and severe depression. I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel until Arkansas Paws in Prison brought Mugsy into my life. The day I went to the prison to meet the dogs, I sat in the middle of a room and the inmates released one dog at a time. As soon as they let Mugsy loose, he came bouncing over full of energy and overflowing with love. He ran right up to me and started licking my face. Everyone in the room could tell it was a match.
Mugs and I have been together for six years now, and he has quite literally saved my life. Because of him, I am able to lead a normal life again. I’m able to go grocery shopping and enjoy dining out with my family again. Simple everyday things that people take for granted, but before Mugsy, I could barely even check the mail most days. We slowly started going on walks and hiking. Now, we make a point to go on some sort of adventure every day.
Mugsy has truly changed my life. He helped me take my power back. I still struggle, but Mugsy’s love and strength give me courage. We do not take any day for granted. Mugsy and I love our journey, and we hope it’s a very long one!”
“When I adopted Pinky, all I was looking for was a companion to love and enjoy time with, what I got was so much more. Pinky had a hard life before I adopted her. She had been confiscated for neglect. Her adoption listing showed a small, senior Chihuahua with a few special needs. The moment I saw her photo, I fell in love. Pinky immediately brought joy, laughter and love into my life and we quickly became inseparable.
Not long after I adopted Pinky, I took a class where one of my assignments was to choose a social media platform and use it to promote something. I decided Pinky and I would advocate for senior pets like her waiting for adoption on Instagram. I’m not of the social media generation, so it was a little bit of a struggle; but before long Pinky had thousands of followers.
After hearing a gut-wrenching story from one of the rescues I support, I decided that I had to do something to help. I wondered if one person and a toothless Chihuahua could even make a difference. I wasn’t sure, but Pinky and I were going to try. I painted a portrait of Pinky and had 100 tote bags with the artwork on it made. I partnered with LWH Adoptables, a rescue that specializes in rescuing senior and special needs pets, and made plans to sell them. I was terrified that I would only sell 10 and my family would be getting tote bags for Christmas forever. I did an Instagram post about the bags and it didn’t take long for them to sell out. Pinky’s tote bag sale funded the rescue of 10 very specific dogs. Pinky’s followers saw the faces of the exact dogs they were rescuing.
It is amazing to think that a dog that was once unwanted and abused can go on to inspire the love, kindness and joy that Pinky has. Pinky changed my life for the better in more ways than I can list; but she has also changed the lives of countless senior dogs like her, as they wait for their very own new beginning.”
“Rescued from a dogfighting breeder at 2 months old we didn’t know if this baby would make it. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, strangles, kidney disease and many other complications. Because of the lack of calcium he had to have all of his teeth pulled, except for his four canines. Hence the name Dracula!
Regardless of Dracula’s breed, size, color, disabilities, he loves unconditionally. I bring Dracula to every dog event I attend to share his story and allow him to place a smile on every heart he meets. The disease may only allow him to be with us a short time, but he has given me a gift that will last a lifetime.”
Winning Organizations receive the following prizes:
1st place – $5,000 monetary prize, 1,000 pounds of Blue Buffalo pet food and 100 Kong toys
2nd Place – $2,500 monetary prize, 1,000 pounds of Blue Buffalo pet food and 100 Kong toys
3rd place – $1,000 monetary prize, 1,000 pounds of Blue Buffalo pet food and 100 Kong toys
*Prizes are sponsored by Blue Buffalo, Naturally Fresh, and Save This Life!
Our People’s Choice Winner receives: Remember Me Thursday swag & a gift basket filled with dog gear, toys and accessories.
Tune in next year for our next annual Remember Me Thursday® contest, which will start August 20, 2021! We can’t wait to see your pets and stories!