Furry companions were in all shapes and sizes this year for the The Ledger Independent 2014 Cutest Pet Contest.

This year 52 entries, of several species, of pets were entered, and 10 survived three rounds of voting, to emerge in the featured pull-out of the The Ledger Independent today.

Used as a fund-raiser to benefit the Humane Society of Buffalo Trace  and Newspapers in Education, this year more than 18,000 votes helped raise more funds that in the 2013 contest, organizers said.

Taking top honors is Coop, a 13-pound bundle of love known as a micro mini Golden Doodle.

Just 11 months old, Coop is the talented companion of Ashley McMurtrey.

Leap frog and Hula Hoop tricks are some of Coops favorite new tricks. Coop has even appeared performing on YouTube .

When he is not staying with “Gee-ma and Gee -pa,” Phyllis and David McMurtrey of Maysville, Coop is often Ashley McMurtrey's travel companion.

Over the last 10 months, Coop visited museums and tourist attractions wherever they go, McMurtrey said.

“He never meets a stranger,” she said. “He likes other dogs, but all the dogs near where he lives are older and don't like to play with him.”

Coop has also been to a two-week manners school, to make traveling with him easier.

“He doesn't lunge on the leash any more,” she said.

Other top 10 vote-getters this year, in no particular order, were Smokey, a Norwegian Elkhound owned by Dale French of Mount Olivet, who likes to ride in trucks and loves being close to his family.

Daisy, a senior Pug from Fizzleville, Ohio, likes to visit at Ohio Valley Manor with her family Brenda and Jerry Snapp.

Ase, the Red Heeler of Kasey, Campbell and Kenton Johnson likes to swim and survived a close call when he injured his back over the summer, remaining as mischievous as ever.

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Elkhounds got a lot of attention in the competition with Bruiser, best buddy of Angie Carpenter of Sardis showing his breeding by protecting his family while being a playmate for children.

And Sammy, the Elkhound of the Gibson family of Sardis, who likes to run on the farm of Mary and Forest Gibson, and is fond of birthday cake.

Blending in, and staying clear of the hunting dogs, is Zebra, a black and white rabbit buck who lives in May's Lick with Hayle Whisman and Teresa Whisman.

Styling in her own way is Versace Isabel, a 3-year-old cat named in honor of fashion designer Donatella Versace. The mixed patter of her coat fits well with her personality, said her family Amy and Rachael Parker.

Merry, a beagle/Boxer mix from Lewisburg lives with James and Susan Sandlin. She was a rescue after being abandoned in Mason County and loves to walk with them at the lake at Maysville/Mason County Recreation Park.

And Zoe, a German Shepherd mix gives Beth Garrison joy in her life, as a rescue from Mason County Animal Shelter.


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