Lisa Gallo’s pet beagle, Sydney, had been in and out of the animal hospital for months last year until she finally succumbed to her liver and kidney issues in mid-July — just one week after Gallo had to also bury her mother.
Devastated by the losses, Gallo, who is originally from Franklin Square but is now living in East Rockaway, decided she needed to focus on something positive, and so she adopted another beagle puppy, whom she named Savannah.
Now, Savannah is in the running to be named America’s Favorite Pet.
“She is so compassionate and loving,” Gallo wrote on Savannah’s profile, which is sponsored by Dogster and Catster magazines. “She has been my constant companion since my mom passed this year.”
Savannah, she explained to the Herald, is very friendly and loves to bring people toys to play with — especially her “Snoopy” chew toy. She is also very well-behaved, Gallo said, even when she has to go to the vet.
“She should win because she represents that rescue dogs are amazing, loving and beautiful, and bring so much joy,” said Gallo, who owns three other rescue dogs and volunteers her free time at local animal shelters like Freeport-based Bobbi and the Strays and Manhasset-based Long Road Home Rescue, Inc.
It was in that role that Gallo found out about the national competition. She received an email about it, she said, and immediately decided to sign Savannah up for the contest both because she saw it as an opportunity to promote adoption by showcasing Savannah’s unique green eyes and light coloring, and because she was impressed that the proceeds earned from votes purchased go to the Progressive Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, a non-profit organization that rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, shelters homeless cats and dogs and educates people about animal welfare.
During each round of the competition, individuals with a valid Facebook account can cast a vote for their favorite pet once a day, or purchase additional votes. The winning entrant of each round (the Top 15, Top 10, Top 5, quarter finals, semifinals and finals) will be the one with the most votes at the end of every week.
As of Feb. 12, Savannah made it into the Top 10 category, voting for which ends on Feb. 18.
The grand-prize winner will be notified by email or telephone at the end of March, and will be announced on the America’s Favorite Pets website. He or she will then be featured in the Dogster and Catster magazines, and will receive $5,000.