Story Nathan Torpey | Images Zoo Studio
After six weeks, more than 31,000 entries and 33,000 votes, Queenslanders have spoken and declared Brisbane tabby cat, Leo, RACQ’s 2017 Pet Search champion.
The competition was fierce, with the eternal battle between cats and dogs raging until the end, but in 2017 cats reigned supreme in the search for Queensland’s cutest pet.
Winner Leo was picture ‘purrfect’ under all conditions and not even the bright flashing lights of the ‘puparazzi’ stopped him from strutting his stuff on the front cover of The Road Ahead and on the pages of the 2018 RACQ Pet Insurance calendar.
Leo’s owner, Phoebe Sale, said she was ecstatic her one-year-old tabby cat was voted Queensland’s cutest pet and spent her prize – a $5000 WISH Gift Card – on resources to donate to local animal shelters.
“When I saw how generous the prize was, we decided it was better to use it for other animals in need,” she said.
“I have made about six or seven donations to rescue groups around Brisbane, dropping off big bags of food, treats and toys for all the animals they look after.”
Hearing of Ms Sale’s generosity, Zoo Studio – who photographed the front cover of The Road Ahead – paid it forward and gifted her a $2000 voucher to be used on artwork of Leo.
The 2018 RACQ Pet Insurance Calendar celebrates Queensland’s most adorable pets and features the 12 finalists hand-selected by RACQ’s own ‘pet cuteness experts’.
Of the 12 finalists, a mixture of cats and dogs were chosen, each stealing the hearts of our experts and photographer John Bowden.
The calendar can be purchased at RACQ stores, bank branches and at Animal Welfare League Queensland’s (AWLQ) locations for a gold coin donation.
All proceeds raised go to helping AWLQ locations rehome animals in need, provide much-needed medical treatments and achieve their promise of never euthanising a sociable, healthy or treatable companion animal in their care.