They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when it comes to any type of competition that is based on beauty, it is popular opinion that counts. There are multiple dog competitions that take place around the world of which the results are based on a dog’s appearance. In many cases, this is measured on whether a dog has key attribute of its breed. One competition that is a little different is the World’s Cutest Rescue Dog competition that takes place each year. The results of this are decided by a public vote, rather than on the opinion of dog experts. The winner of the World’s Cutest Dog of 2019 title has recently been announced as a Keeshond called Kacey.
According to I Heart Dogs, it was Kasey’s sad backstory that added to her appeal and won the hearts of the public. Although her story has a happy ending, she did not get the best start in life. Her story begins with an online pet rescue network that consists of a group of pet owners along with several rescue shelters. The network has two main focuses. The first is to spread the word about foster pets to help them find new homes. The second is to raise awareness of the puppy mill operations that are run in the United States.
Puppy mills, also known as puppy farms, are places that breed countless dogs for the sake of profit, says the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They breed puppies in cruel conditions just to keep the puppy industry in business. The mothers are often bred repeatedly without concern for their wellbeing, and both the mothers and pups are often kept in unsatisfactory conditions. The network heard about a puppy mill located in upstate New York. According to the information they received, the puppy mill was housing more than 100 Keeshonds. With the support of the public, the network was able to persuade the operator of the puppy mill to surrender a few of the dogs at a time. One of the lucky pups that the operator surrendered was Kasey.
Jan Cosgrove is a resident of New Jersey who has always supported the network. When she heard about the puppy mill and the dogs that had been surrendered, she put herself forward as a volunteer to foster one of the rescued dogs until a forever home was found. Kasey was the dog that was allocated to Cosgrove. As soon as she took Kasey home, it was apparent the effect that living at a puppy mill had on her. Cosgrove describes how Kasey would just sit in the corner cowering and that she didn’t like people approaching or touching her. The dog was so stressed that she couldn’t even lie down to sleep, and she would fall asleep while still sitting.
Cosgrove decided to look into Kasey’s history, and she was shocked by what she learned. Her research revealed that Kasey was neglected, left outdoors around the clock, and bred repeatedly. Due to the stressful conditions in which she had lived, Kasey was covered in bald spots. Cosgrove realized that Kasey had never experienced the love and kindness of humans, so she made it her mission to show Kasey that humans could care for her and love her properly. It took just a few months to see a complete transformation in Kasey. Having proper love and care meant that Kasey bloomed. Previously, she was a dog that could not trust humans and would cower in the corner. Thanks to the care she received, she became a loving and playful dog that was happy to meet new people.
The dog’s confidence has grown so much that she is even happy to approach strangers when she wants someone to pet her. As her transformation was so significant, the Cosgrove family fell in love with her and decided they could not bear to see her leave their family home. They decided to permanently adopt Kasey as she already felt like part of their family. Cosgrove is astounded by the dog’s ability to forgive. Due to her past experiences, it was not unreasonable to suspect that Kasey would never trust a human again. Despite her experiences, she has managed to forget about her past and has learned to both trust and love human company. It is remarkable that she has progressed so much in such a short time.
Winning the title of the World’s Cutest Dog 2019 is the icing on the cake for the six-year-old Keeshond. The ASPCA explains that more than 7,000 dogs from around the world were put forward for the title, which was won by a one-eyed Golden Retriever called Penny in 2018. With so much competition, it is a great honor to become the recipient of this title. The winner of the title receives a year’s free supply of dog food that is donated by Pedigree and they also make an appearance on the ‘Today’ show. Kasey is not the only one to benefit from winning this award, as a $1,000 donation was also made to the Keeshond Affiliated Rescuers of the Mid-Atlantic.
While this is a great story with a happy ending, Cosgrove also hopes that the story will raise awareness of puppy mills. She wants people to know what goes on and the conditions in which the dogs are living. Having Kasey win the title could potentially help thousands more dogs to have the opportunity to live outside puppy mills in a loving family home. There is also hope that by raising awareness the number of puppy mills in operation will significantly decrease. Furthermore, Cosgrove hopes that this story encourages others to take a chance on a rescue dog by opening up their home to them as it could make a significant difference to a dog’s life.