Lulu ugly dog

Last year’s Ugly Pet Contest winner, LuLu. This year, Tucson Local Media is looking for the region’s best dressed pet.

If you or someone you know has a picture of Fido with a tuxedo, Princess in a dress or Bella in a ball gown, then Tucson Local Media has an upcoming competition worth keeping an eye on.

That’s right, we’re celebrating everyone’s best friends once again with the our second annual pet photo contest—and while the staff was overjoyed by the response to last year’s Ugly Pet competition (which turned out to be a runaway success), we’re looking to celebrate the cuter demographic this year with our Best Dressed Pet contest.

Cats, dogs, lizards, snakes, hamsters, pigs or any other animal you love as a member of the family can be submitted. The minimal attire to be considered for the contest is a single article of clothing, ranging from a tie to a hat, a petty coat or even a cute pair of shoes. But if you’re looking to be this year’s big winner, the minimum should be a starting point.

A “Best Dressed Pet” winner will be selected out of all submissions, and a secondary “Best Costume” winner will also be selected—so you don’t have to wait until Halloween to bust out the Batman cape.

Nominations open this Wednesday, May 22, and will be accepted through Wednesday, June 12. That’s three weeks to plan and prepare the perfect getup for your fluffy (or scaly) friend. Photographs should be sent via email to with the subject line: “Best Dressed Pets.” Submissions will also be accepted via mail at 7225 N. Mona Lisa Road, Tucson, Arizona 85741, ATTN: Logan. Winners will be selected by a team of Tucson Local Media pet lovers and announced in the June 19 edition of The Explorer and Marana News in a special cover photo. We will also share some interesting developments on the local animal welfare front, and the newspaper staff will unveil their own pets.

May the best dressed pet win!

We are celebrating the love, affection and attention we show our animals next month, though this week’s edition is no sleeper. Grab your calendars and get ready to plan for the hot season, because Tucson Local Media is taking on the summer.

Looking for the perfect concert or movie? We’ve got you covered. What about a delicious happy hour meal or summer special? Don’t worry about it. Looking to take some friends out for the perfect night out? It’s all inside this year’s Summer Survival compendium, carefully curated to create a one-stop guide to enjoying Tucson without the winter visitors.

A special thanks is due to my hardworking staff, who was more than ready to take on this special assignment. And an extra thanks is due to our fantastic calendar editor, Emily Dieckman, who joined in on the fun this week. Make sure to stay tuned next week for even more helpful summer tips when we explore all of the sporting events going on in Southern Arizona, and all of the statewide road trip ideas we could think of.

Make sure to drink lots of water, and wear sunscreen!

While we were busy putting together this week’s special section, we also welcomed some new faces into our newsroom, and I would be remiss if I didn’t take a few lines to formally introduce Meredith O’Neil and Ambur Wilkerson to our readers.

Both Ambur and Meredith come to us as journalism graduate students from the University of Arizona, and we’re extremely excited to have them on board as we help them along the journey that is journalism. From food to music, social justice to arts and culture, there’s plenty both women want to write, and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the newsroom this summer. 

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