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It’s no secret that Americans love their pets. Aside from the fact that phrases like “pet parent” are entering our vernacular, consider this: According to the  annual survey facilitated by the American Pet Products Association, an estimated 67% of American households have a pet. This adds up to about 85 million families that own a pet. And the number is only increasing, with only 56% of American households owning a pet in 1988 when the survey was first conducted.

Now, we don’t discriminate when it comes to pets, it doesn’t matter if they’re furry, scaly or slimy, as long as they’re properly cared for and make you happy (most of the time). But it’s no exaggeration to say cats, and particularly dogs, own our hearts. According to that same American Pet Products Association survey, of the 85 million American pet households, 42.7 million owned cats, and 63 million owned dogs.

Dogs are an American tradition, from presidential pets roaming the White House to that Mark Twain quote that only gets sweeter by the year: “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

In these pages, you’ll find information on local pet resources like doggy day care. You’ll also find a fun and fascinating article on local mediums who claim to communicate with your pets via extrasensory perception.

But last and certainly not least, we have the Tucson Local Media pets contest! We’re ordaining the cutest pet in the region! You’ll also see an award for the ugliest local pet, but note the asterisk. Let’s be honest, dogs have that special power where even an “ugly” dog is adorable in their own way, and that’s certainly the case for this year’s winner. A big thanks to all our readers who submitted photos, and may the best pet win! 

Check out the stories and photos here: 

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