Jack Russell Terrier Wins Nationwide Contest

Jesse’s unique trick earned him a place on the packaging of a new Bissell vacuum.

A hand-standing, jump-roping Jack Russell Terrier named Jesse has won Bissell Homecare Inc.’s Pet Games Video Contest, which gave pet owners the chance to share videos of their dogs doing tricks.

As the winner, Jesse will be featured nationally on the packaging of the Lift-Off Revolution Pet Vacuum. Bissell also made a $10,000 donation on behalf of Jesse’s owner, Heather Brook, to AZ Jack Russell Rescue, Inc., the pet cause of her choice.

“I think it’s awesome,” Brook said. “Jesse’s got a lot of energy. He just loves making people smile.”

This is the first time Bissell, a manufacturer of home cleaning products based in Grand Rapids, Mich., held the Pet Games Video Contest.

“Rather than including just a stock photo of a dog or a professional dog model, we wanted to include real pets from our consumers on our packaging,” said Beth Jester, Bissell spokesperson.

In addition to winning voters over with their tricks and unique talents, the dogs also had to pass the American Kennel Club’s 10-step Canine Good Citizen Program, which stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. The 10 steps included walking on a loose leash, accepting a friendly stranger, and obeying certain commands.

In the end, Jesse was selected by Bissell as the winner out of a pool of 20 semi-finalists.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Jester. “Jesse’s energy and enthusiasm just fits so well with what we’re trying to do in reaching pet owners with our product.”

Brook said she choose AZ Jack Russell Rescue, Inc. as the donation recipient because of its care of abandoned and displaced Jack Russell Terriers.

“I just love how they take care of their dogs. They don’t take in too many so they can take good care of them, and they all have a wonderful life there,” said Brook, who has participated in the AZ Jack Russell Rescue’s “fun days” in the past.

Sandy Mittendorf, adoption coordinator and kennel manager, said the nonprofit organization, which is based in Gilbert, Ariz., was “surprised” by the gesture.

“We’re just absolutely thrilled that she chose us,” she said.

Mittendorf said a portion of the donation will be used to finish remodeling the barn where Jack Russell Terriers are housed while waiting to be adopted. The project includes adding two kennels, a grooming area, and food prep area.

This isn’t the first time Jesse has been recognized for his talents. The terrier recently jumped rope on the “Rachel Ray” show, was finalist in a talent search contest with Petco, and won a nomination for the Worldwide Fido Competition.

For those who haven’t seen Jesse in action, Brook maintains a special website, on which she posts videos and photos of her dog and shares updates.

To see a video of Jesse’s unique trick, click here.

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