Best Stressed Pets from Across America (2014)


After a rapid-fire week of voting, the public has determined that the USA TODAY 10Best "stressed pet" who most looks like a vacation is needed is Ruby, an adopted one-year-old hound mix living in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Ruby loves the beach.  

  • Ruby

    Stillwater, Okla.

    Ruby loves the beach more than anything and when she dreams, it's probably of another vacation there!  
    Photo courtesy of Jennifer Graef via @YourTake

  • Shima

    Venice Beach, Calif.

    Shima gets stressed out by loud noises, so when her companion scared away a bear with a gunshot, Shima hid in the car.  She likes places which are quiet, soothing and definitely bear-free!    
    Photo courtesy of Ray Decker via @YourTake

  • Riley

    Doral, Fla.

    Riley, a mixed beagle in tropical Doral, Florida, beats his stress by cuddling up with someone special.  Who knows, he might be dreaming of a trip to F.A.O. Schwarz Toy Store . . . but we suspect he's loyal to his current playmate.  
    Photo courtesy of Milagros González via @YourTake

  • Murray

    St. Augustine, Fla.

    Murray, a Great Pyrenees, de-stresses at day camp with his pals.  But we're pretty sure he'd be styling wherever he went!  
    Photo courtesy of Photo by Merrick Loman via @YourTake

  • Wrigley Wayne Mathew

    Wrigley Wayne Mathew
    New York

    Wrigley Wayne Mathew is such a popular Shih Tzu, he has his own hashtag on Instagram: #WrigleyWayne.  We're pretty sure that wherever he travelled, he'd create a buzz.   
    Photo courtesy of Briana Mathew via @YourTake

  • Sammi and Mr. Boots

    Sammi and Mr. Boots
    Washington, Mo.

    Sammi the dog tolerates of her roommate Mr. Boots, but we hear that she'd love a vacation in a cat-free zone!  The look on her face says it all!  
    Photo courtesy of Tammi Elbert via @YourTake

  • Ghost


    This 4-year-old Australian Shepherd, adopted from Animal Humane New Mexico, is not a fan of rainy weather, and Albuquerque had a strangely wet summer.   He needs a trip somewhere nice and dry!
    Photo courtesy of Wendy Forbes @YourTake

  • Bella & Spirit

    Bella & Spirit
    Rochester, N.Y.

    Bella the dog and Spirit the cat know just how to comfort each other when the going gets tough.  Their perfect vacation would be somewhere that offers two-for-ones.
    Photo courtesy of Barbi Cody via @YourTake

  • Buddy and Sambuca

    Buddy and Sambuca
    Aurora, Colo.

    Buddy the golden retriever is a therapy dog at a local childrens' hospital, so even when Sambuca mistakes him for a recliner, he doesn't get overly stressed.  He's definitely earned a vacation, though, by offering all that support!  
    Photo courtesy of Kerdie Bates via @YourTake

  • Mason

    Hamburg, N.Y.

    Mason is typically a sweetie, but every once in a while, he gets stressed out and then everyone knows it.   We think Mason would probably enjoy a trip to Cat-alina Island, the Catskills, or "Cat"-mandu.   
    Photo courtesy of Stacy Cruzan via @YourTake

Following at #2: Shima, whose owner is opening a Venice surf shop named for her;  Riley, a beagle mix from Doral, Florida, who destresses with a stuffed companion;  Murray, a Great Pyrenees who looks great in shades; and the adorable Wrigley Wayne Mathew, who hams it up on social media.

Deborah Norville and Inside Edition  revealed the winners on air, after promoting the contest to their viewers and followers for a week.
Inside Edition:  Video of Winners

The full list of winners in our 'Best Stressed Pets' category for this USA TODAY 10Best Readers. Choice award is as follows:

  1. Ruby - Stillwater, Okla.
  2. Shima - Venice Beach, Calif.
  3. Riley - Doral, Fla.
  4. Murray - St. Augustine, Fla.
  5. Wrigley Wayne Mathew - New York
  6. Sammi and Mr. Boots - Washington, Mo.
  7. Ghost - Albuquerque
  8. Bella & Spirit - Rochester, N.Y.
  9. Buddy and Sambuca - Aurora, Colo.
  10. Mason - Hamburg, N.Y.

Thanks again to all the pet owners who submitted photos, and a hearty congratulations to all our winners.    

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