Submit your cute pet pics to the Inlander's Cover Pet Photo Contest by June 25!

click to enlarge Submit your cute pet pics to the Inlander's Cover Pet Photo Contest by June 25! (2)
Ali Blackwood
Oriville Kittenbacher wants "mew" to share your cute pet photos!
Calling all cat ladies, dog people, reptile wranglers, backyard goat farmers and lovers of all animals great and small: The Inlander's Cover Pet Photo Contest is now open!

We've run a similar contest seeking (and finding) Inlander cover-worthy photos of local dogs, cats and other animal friends. Now, we're excited to bring it back using a new online balloting and voting platform.

So through June 25, we're asking YOU, dear reader, to submit the most eye-catching photo of your pet(s) for newspaper cover contention. That's right — one grand winner will be unveiled on the Aug. 10 cover of our 2023 Pet Issue.

Before you start scrolling through the thousands of pet photos on your phone to pick one to enter, here's a helpful primer to make sure your pet stands out in its quest for stardom. (Note: Only resident pets of the Inland Northwest — living within the Inlander's coverage/distribution range of North Idaho and Eastern Washington — are eligible for the contest.)
click to enlarge Submit your cute pet pics to the Inlander's Cover Pet Photo Contest by June 25!
Smokey the heeler was one of our 2019 Pet Issue photo contest winners, and made it onto the cover!

We've broken down the submission ballot into three groups:
  • Dogs & Cats
  • Exotics 'n' More
  • All Creatures
In each group, you'll find more specific categories, so keep that in mind as you decide on a photo. If your cat is still a kitten (under a year old), for example, it might have a better chance competing against its baby cat peers, versus the more general adult cat category. While the ballot breaks down what types of photos qualify for each category, we've also include an overview at the end of this post.

Keep in mind that this is a photo contest, and we'll be printing original photo submissions with the results for each category.  So it's in your and your pet's interest to avoid submitting blurry, badly lit, or poorly composed photos. We're looking for Instagram-worthy shots!

As you fill out the ballot, also take some time to tell us about your pet. These short introductions may be factored as the judges — and eventually the public voters — narrow down the entries to top contenders. Also, as you navigate the ballot, you can click "skip" on any sub-category and it will cycle through to the next. You can enter more than one pet, and more than one category on the same ballot, but only one ballot per person is allowed.

The Inlander Cover Pet Photo Contest's first round — submissions — runs through Sunday, June 25. Then, starting on July 6, a two-week public voting round kicks off, and anyone in the community can cast one vote for their favorite photo in each category. The pet photo with the most votes overall will be featured on the cover of our 2023 Pet Issue, on stands Aug. 10. Winners in each of the 15 categories will also see their pet photos published in the issue.


click to enlarge Submit your cute pet pics to the Inlander's Cover Pet Photo Contest by June 25!
Chey Scott
Dellie presents a purr-fect example of how to compose your Cover Pet photo contest submissions.
Cuddly Cats: Share your kitty’s best — and cutest — super meow-del pose! Submit photos of adult domestic cats, age one year old and up. (This is the general cat photo category.)

Cute Kittens: “Smol” and fluffy, this one’s for babies only, under 1 year old.

Dapper Doggies: Is your doggo destined to be a star? Show them off in this best photo category! This category is for adult dogs only, age one year and up. (This is the general dog photo category.)

Precious Puppies: Yip-yip, hooray for sweet, mischievous puppies, under 1 year old.


Warm Blooded: From feathered friends to pocket-sized rodent pals, and more! This category is for warm-blooded exotic pets like rodents, birds, hedgehogs etc. No dogs or cats allowed.

Cold Blooded: Thisss one’sss for sssnakes, lizardsss, fisssh and other ssscaled critters. No cats, dogs, or other furry friends allowed in this category.

Working Pets: There’s more to life than being cute, like having a serious job! Police work, shop animals, therapy, herding, guiding and more. (This category is open to all animals.)

On the Farm: Moo-ving on, we welcome our barnyard friends: cows, goats, horses, chickens, pigs and more. (While dogs and cats definitely do important work on farms, we created this category with other animals in mind.)

(This category is open to everyone: dogs, cats, snakes, cows, chickens, birds, etc.)

Costume Contest: For best-dressed animals: goofy costumes, custom couture, local team-spirit swag and more!

Silly Photos: From tongue-out “bleps” to bad hair day bloopers, we love ’em even as we’re laughing!

Outdoor Adventure Pets: Inland Northwest pets enjoy the outdoors year-round, too: hiking, swimming, camping and more!

Best Buds: A place for inseparable pairings and odd couples, with their BFF humans, favorite toy, and other animal pals. Photo submissions must have two creatures, and at least one must be a pet.

Sweet Seniors: We love to see those sweet, gray faces and misty-eyed gazes. We’re not crying, you are!

Here Comes Trouble: What? It definitely wasn’t me who ___ [tore apart this toy, ate your shoe, stole dinner off the table, etc.] This category is for photos of your pet getting into trouble or breaking the rules.

Rescue Rascals: Shelter pets are the best! This category is for adopted pets.

We can't wait to see all your adorable, hilarious and beautiful pet photos!

Cozette Phillips: Exercises in Futility @ Trackside Studio

Wednesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Sept. 29
  • or

About The Author

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's Arts and Culture Editor and editor of the Inlander's yearly, glossy magazine, the Annual Manual. Chey (pronounced "Shay") is a lifelong resident of the Spokane area and a graduate of Washington State University. She's been on staff at the Inlander since 2012...