This Week’s Creature Feature: Beauty and Beasts


Fifty-five Marylanders visited Quiet Waters Park May 2 in hopes that they would be told they looked like a dog. A cat. Even a rabbit.

The people were participating in a new kind of beauty pageant, Anne Arundel County’s first annual Do You Look Like Your Pet? Contest. The brainchild of County Executive John R. Leopold, the contest judged which countians bore remarkable resemblances to their pets.

“I came up with the idea because I thought it would be fun. And it was,” says Leopold. “I’ve often thought that pet owners do resemble their pets. I don’t know what that says.”

The executive, who has two pets, put his theory to the test by holding a contest.

-Contestants first had to pass a preliminary round, submitting a photograph of themselves and their furry twins to the county website for judging. The cream of the crop were invited to the finals at Quiet Waters Park, where judges Leopold, Anne Arnudel County Parks and Recreation administrator Franklin Chaney and chair of the Animal Welfare Council Wendy Cozzone determined which pairs shared a passing resemblance and which pairs were separated at birth.

“The pictures speak volumes. In most cases they really did look like their pet,” says Colleen Joseph, special assistant to the director of Parks and Rec. “One gentleman had a grayish goatee and so did his dog.”

One oddity that the judges and Joseph noticed was the predominance of dog contestants. Anne Arundel Countians believe that they have doggie doppelgangers.

-“-We had seven cats, one rabbit and the rest were dogs,” says Joseph, who worked behind the scenes.

“Next year we hope for a larger variety of animals,” says Leopold, whose cat Francois and black lab Dora had to sit out the contest, as their person was judging.

Winners were selected in age groups — 13 and up or 12 and below — in Cat, Dog and other category. Thirteen winners were selected overall with two grand champions ruling the day.

Hunter Haines and dog Basil triumphed in the ages 13 and over category, while Hanna Tobin and her pup Chester beat out the competition in the 12 and under bracket. Better luck next year, cat lovers.

-The contest, which coincided with the SPCA’s Walk for the Animals, drew 10,430 people to Quiet Waters for a day of animal love, fun and fundraising.

Make your suggestions for next year at 410-222-1821.