Gracey, a Domestic Shorthair rescue cat from New Lexington, Ohio, is the grand prize winner of Bissell Homecare’s Most Valuable Pet photo contest. As MVP winner, Gracey will be featured on Bissell pet product packaging, and her pet parents, Joanne McGonagle and Paul Dusenberry, will receive $10,000 to donate to a favorite pet cause and a $500 pet shopping spree.
McGonagle said she plans to donate the grand prize money to PurrEver Ranch Sanctuary, a nonprofit hospice for senior and special-needs cats in Somerville, Tenn.
Gracey was not yet weaned when she was abandoned as a kitten at a local dog shelter, suffering from allergies and digestive issues when she was adopted by her pet parents. She is the inspiration behind a children’s book by McGonagle, “The Tiniest Tiger,” as well as the Conservation Cub Club, a feline education and support community.
Gracey’s photograph will be featured on Bissell’s Pet Hair Eraser Corded Hand Vacuum.
Runners-up in the contest include: Rainbow Diamond, a Longhair Dachshund from San Antonio, Texas; Bianca, a Bengal cat from Dennis Port, Mass., Scooter, an Old English Sheepdog from Daytona Beach, Fla.; Bear, a Husky mix from Carol Stream, Ill.; and Jamie, a Basset Hound from Las Vegas. All will receive prize money to donate to their favorite pet charities.
“Our furry friends are the inspiration behind our products and we enjoy capturing and showcasing the passion and love for America’s pets through the MVP contest,” says Jim Krzeminski, Bissell’s executive vice president and chief customer officer. “As pet owners ourselves, we are aware of the numerous pet programs and charities that exist, their wonderful work and the help they need to continue their meaningful efforts. The MVP contest always brings out the passion pet lovers have for their favorite charities, and we are honored to reward their dedication.”