Chef Michael's(R) Announces a National Contest to Find the Most Unforgettable 'Doggie Valentine' in America

Winner Will Travel to New York for a Special Celebration Dedicated to the Newest Valentines: The Dogs!

Jan 06, 2010, 13:48 ET from Purina

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Do you hold a special place in your heart for your dog? Is your dog more like a best friend or a true partner than your pet? Love is in the air this February, and this time Cupid has his eye on dogs and their human companions, as more than 60 percent of dog owners plan to include their dogs in their Valentine's Day celebrations. Dogs have already claimed the title of Man's Best Friend, and now they're part of a new tradition that has their owners proclaiming the four-legged loves of their lives their "Doggie Valentines."

Purina® Chef Michael's® canine creations is celebrating the unique relationship between dogs and owners with the launch of the "My Doggie Valentine" contest starting Jan. 6, 2010. The lucky winner will get an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to attend the Chef Michael's Be My Valentine Doggie Dinner Party on Feb. 10, 2010, at Gotham Hall, one of the city's most prominent and prestigious social event venues.

A surprise celebrity judge will select the winning dog in the contest, which takes place now through Jan. 25, 2010 on

Dog owners across the country are invited to enter by submitting a color photo of their dog along with a caption that describes why their dog is their Valentine. Entries will be judged on the "unforgettable face" in the photo, the originality of the caption and the appropriateness of the entry to the contest's loving theme. For every valid entry, Chef Michael's will donate $10 (up to $7,500) to to support its mission to find forever homes for homeless dogs that also deserve to feel loved on Valentine's Day.

The prize package for the winner of the "My Doggie Valentine" contest includes:

  • A trip for two, plus one or two qualifying dogs, to New York City to attend the Chef Michael's Be My Valentine Doggie Dinner Party, featuring a memorable dining experience, live entertainment, celebrity guests and doggie gifts
  • $1,000 cash
  • A one-year supply of Purina Chef Michael's canine creations dry dinners, any variety

While this will be the first-ever Chef Michael's Be My Valentine Doggie Dinner Party, dogs made their way into Americans' hearts long ago. According to a Purina survey, 66 percent of dog owners plan to show their dog how much they love him or her on Valentine's Day by showering the dog with hugs and kisses, while 56 percent prefer to show their love through a special meal topped off with their dog's favorite treat.

This isn't especially surprising when you consider that, of the dog owners surveyed, 26 percent say "I love you" once every day to their dogs -- the same percentage that says "I love you" once every day to a spouse or significant other.

The first 1,000 entrants meeting the entry requirements will also receive a Doggie Dinner gift package that includes samples of Purina Chef Michael's canine creations -- so that they can treat their dog to a special, thoughtfully prepared meal beyond Valentine's Day.

About the Purina Survey

The survey interviewed 1,000 adults, age 18 and over, living in the United States during a one-week period in early December 2006. Ipsos U.S. Express, a leader in market and opinion research, conducted the phone interviews. Most results have a margin of error of +/- 5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for comparable data between the populations of pet owners.

About Nestle Purina PetCare

Nestle Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestle Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestle S.A., the world's largest food company.

About (formerly is North America's largest nonprofit pet adoption website, with 7,000-plus public and private animal shelters and humane societies posting their pets for adoption. More than 1.5 million unique monthly visitors search by zip code and other preferences to see photos and descriptions of pets for adoption in their area.