Cats,  Contests & Giveaways

DogTime Media in the Dog House: The Pettie Awards Scandal

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

When is an award nominee not an nominee? When the organizers screw up big time. In 2012 and 2013, Cat Wisdom 101 received Pettie Award nominations for Best Cat Blog. This week we were pleasantly surprised to receive the following emails from DogTime Media notifying us about three Pettie Award nominations: Best Cat Blog, Best Over All Pet Blog and Best Video with spiffy badges to display publicly. Best of all, I’d been so busy working with cats at the shelter I didn’t even have time ask you, dear reader for a nomination. It just happened like magic.

But wait for it. Time to pull the rug from hardworking, undervalued bloggers. Oops, DogTime Media goofed. No apology, just the new list of nominees and Cat Wisdom 101 isn’t listed except under Best Designed Blog. Huh? Is this a joke? I wasn’t the only one impacted. Pet bloggers are a close community. We’re friends and when something bad happens to one blogger, it happens to all of us. How can any of the awards have merit now?

Can you imagine awards organizations like the Oscars, Emmy’s, Tony’s or Pulitzer’s declaring a list of finalists or nominees and then rescinding their selections? There would be public outrage and mega-lawsuits. In the case of a less than stellar award like the pet blogging Petties, it’s an instant fall from grace and credibility. I don’t need an award to validate who I am or or the value of my work but I would like an apology. Needless to say I won’t be asking you to vote for us for Best Designed Blog. You can if you want to but I won’t be mentioning it or the Petties again any time soon.

You can vote or see who all the finalists are at Pettie Finalists (link dead). If you can’t beat them, join them. We are nominated for Best Designed Blog and gratefully accept your vote. If we win, our prize money will be donated to the new Rochelle Humane Society where I volunteer. Rant over. Time to get back to my 80 hour work week, my real work helping cats.

My “close but no cigar ” awards

Cat Wisdom 101- 2014 Pettie awards

If you can’t beat them, join them. We are nominated for Best Designed Blog and gratefully accept your vote. If we win, our prize money will be donated to the new Rochelle Humane Society where I volunteer.

Hi Layla,

Congratulations! Your blog is a finalist in the 2014 Petties category for Best Cat Blog. I have attached the 2014 Petties finalist badge for your category.

Voting for the 2014 Petties will begin later today. We are currently working on setting the voting page live.

Voting will continue until July 31st midnight PST.

I will be reaching out again soon to get more information from you.

Congratulations again! Please let me know if you have any questions.


Christina Kwan
Director of Marketing and Product Development
DogTime Media, Inc

Hi Layla,

Congratulations! Your blog is a finalist in the 2014 Petties category for Best Overall Blog. I have attached the 2014 Petties finalist badge for your category.

Voting for the 2014 Petties will begin later today. We are currently working on setting the voting page live.

Voting will continue until July 31st midnight PST.

I will be reaching out again soon to get more information from you.

Congratulations again! Please let me know if you have any questions.


Hi Layla,

Congratulations! Your blog is a finalist in the 2014 Petties category for Best Video Post. I have attached the 2014 Petties finalist badge for your category.

Voting for the 2014 Petties will begin later today. We are currently working on setting the voting page live.

Voting will continue until July 31st midnight PST.

I will be reaching out again soon to get more information from you.

Congratulations again! Please let me know if you have any questions.




  • Bev Green

    Layla we had voted for the first time as we are really only new t the blog world..and from an Aussies point of view the whole blog world is still quite ‘young’ we have not yet realised the power of this form of social media and i don’t think we have any sort of voting for any awards of any kind down under..after voting for these (and yes we voted for your lovely informative blog) and seeing the outcome with the confusion etc i kind of think we are maybe better would seem if genuinely concerned at the confusion and upset caused maybe a goodwill gesture of donations to all these shelters would go a long way to gaining back some credibility..again we are a bit backwards down here…we tend to be very laid back ..perhaps a good thing for us..hope you are feeling better soon and that the shelter is getting some good adoptions happening as that is the best medicine for a jaded heart. Hugs Fozziemum xx

  • speedyrabbit

    Hi Layla,It was handled badly by Dogtime,How ever for what its worth the catagory that you are a finalist for I did vote for you simply be cause I love what you do and at the end of the day that is the most important thing that we all love what you do,xx Rachel and Speedy

  • Connie Marie

    Even if you didn’t ask for nominations didn’t mean you didn’t receive any!!!
    This whole thing is a big mess for all.
    A big thanks to you who stated that contests who have a popular vote don’t mean as much!
    I feel great now, only awards by you blogging judges count? Who reads you? Just your blogging community?
    This is not against you Layla, I was So Happy you got the 3, now I read these comments, I am shocked at some of what is said.
    Try to be well, and I’ll try to be well too. It’s getting to hard to hold on anymore.

  • Robin Olson

    There’s another side to this coin folks. In her own words Layla didn’t ask for votes but got 3 finalist nominations in a national contest. Right there didn’t it seem odd that she “magically” got nominations for doing no work to ask for a single vote? I could see winning 1 category but 3 when there are so many bloggers actively trying to get votes?

    You can vilify this contest all you want, but you should consider the fact that on the other side, I got ROBBED of my nomination on Monday because I DID ask for votes and I did work HARD to get those votes. Apparently I DID get the votes to win but I never got the nomination. Is that fair to me?

    Do I love asking for votes all the time, NO. Do I like that the contest allows people to vote every day and that there is no transparency in voting? NO. But what I CAN tell you is I’m not just a cat blogger. I run a non-profit cat rescue. I write about my cat rescue work and if I win, my foster cats get $1000.00 and for a home-foster based rescue with no big donors that sort of money means the WORLD to us. It can be a game changer. Two years ago it kept our doors open because we had dust in our bank account. To date we’ve saved over 325 cats lives partly due to the donations of some of the other bloggers who gave us their award money.

    I thought something fishy was going on earlier this week so I DID contact Dogtime and respectfully asked them if something had happened. Not because I felt “sour grapes” about not getting a nomination for the first time since the awards began, but because I sincerely thought that people getting nominations for old posts or who didn’t even try to get a vote were winning seemed strange. They could have said everything is fine and lied to me, but they didn’t. They actually looked into it and found there WAS a problem. They made a tough call to go back and sort out the error and correct it. I don’t feel they handled it very sensitively, but we ALL make mistakes and to challenge the folks who are the “new” finalists to quit in protest or that their winnings would be tarnished because of a computer glitch is shortsighted and frankly unfair. Some of “us” actually should have been on the list in the first place and it’s a good thing at least those of us who were initially robbed didn’t make a big fuss about it, but instead gracefully congratulated the folks we thought had won.

    I hope that the folks at Dogtime make some smart choices as they move forward about how they handle the Petties. I also hope that people will consider that those of us who were robbed of our nominations and who have them now, will not be penalized by all of you for doing nothing wrong. We didn’t break the code or mess up the servers. We got screwed over just the same as the bloggers who lost their nominations.

    I feel terrible about what happened and I’m truly sorry for all the hurt feelings and the humiliation many of the nominees suffered when they had their nomination taken away. I would much rather feel good about the nominations I earned last night instead of like I have a target on my back.


    • Layla Morgan Wilde

      Robin, it stinks and you know it. If you want to feel good, boycott them. If not, be happy with what you have. Jackson Galaxy and Ingrid King have helped your cause and I’m sure will help you get votes. Btw, Sparkle Cat didn’t campaign for votes either and she’s a finalist.

  • Alana Grelyak & Crepes

    We couldn’t bring ourselves to ask for votes for noms in the first place. We’ve been through enough popular voting experiences to know that, no matter how hard you try or how good your work is, you just end up annoying your readers and likely not winning anyway. We love your blog, Layla, and hope you don’t let this stop the great work you do.

  • Christina Berry

    I hope DogTime is embarrassed by the mockery they’ve made of their awards. To say they’ve handled this poorly is a gross understatement. The most shameful thing is not their initial error (I like what Nerissa said about “measure twice and cut once”), but the fact that after ripping the rug out from under so many nominees, they didn’t even have the common courtesy to send personal apologies. Just.So.Tacky.

    As someone else mentioned, I’d love to see those who are still nominated pull out of the competition and tell DogTime that the awards have lost credibility. The pet blogging community is a close-knit group, and I think it would speak volumes if we all pulled together now and told DogTime that we won’t stand for our own to be treated like this.

    • Layla Morgan Wilde

      Christina, maybe the pet blogging community isn’t as close as we think or the nominees would pull out in solidarity. A few have said, they’re staying in because of the chance to help a shelter but don’t we all want that?

  • Caren Gittleman

    Just wanted to also add that I agree with what Tamar said a zillion percent! ” it should also be about having a panel of experts, not related to the blogs in any way, deciding on who is nominated and who wins.”

  • Skeeter and Izzy

    Sadly the whole world is about politics and in the mess of that the animals lose. It is so very sad that we often times lose sight of what is really important in all of these type of things. I don’t do the political thing, I don’t have the time nor stomach for it.
    We know that this is a class A+++++++ blog and that is why we are here. We just hate that your shelter won’t have a chance for the money……..again the ones that truly lose are the animals.
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig and Peanut & Romeo >^..^<
    We know class when we see it, read it,hear it, taste it,smell it and feel it and this BLOG IS CLASS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!

  • Glogirly and Katie

    To say the whole thing was handled poorly by DogTime is an understatement. I was already harboring some ill-feelings going into the Petties this year because the nomination and voting process is just so long and drawn out…it’s a burden on our readers and a burden on bloggers that detracts from the true message and objectives behind our content.

    Then when I saw that an old (and not very good) video of mine was a finalist, and noted another oddity in the blog post category, I suspected something was amiss. So it wasn’t a big surprise to me when voting shut down. What was a surprise was the way in which DogTime chose to handle it. Their business is MEDIA after all. I can’t believe they didn’t try to create some positivity out of the whole mess. A little honesty and accountability can go a long way in situations like these. Some donations to the rescues supported by those who disappeared from the finalist roster would have been a gracious gesture. But at this point, they’ve missed their opportunity to do the right thing.

    I feel badly for you and all the other bloggers that had the rug pulled out from under them. I feel badly for the new finalists who likely have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. I feel badly for our supportive readers who, if they know what’s going on, feel like their nominations and votes are a waste. And I feel badly for the shelters. All they want is a little help so they can continue saving animals.

  • Deztinee High

    Wees of course knew nuffin’ ’bout da Petties til last munff and wees fawtt it wuld be gweat exposuwe tu weciev an awawd and tu be able tu giv back, but wees didn’t even make da bad cuts. MOL Sowwy fur da mix up wiff yous blog.

    Luv ya’


  • Carolyn

    It all stinks, Layla. Please don’t stop blogging. When you see the quality of so many blogs that never get nominated, you think that maybe politics is involved a bit more than it should be! You need to take time for yourself, so do so …. please! xx

  • Sparkle

    I think Kim Clune said it best. The handling of what was apparently a “server glitch” was very bad on Dogtime Media’s part. The only contest I really give much weight to are the CWA awards, where my human judges annually and the entries are peer reviewed.

    The main reason I’m doing any posts regarding the Petties is to promote rescue. Feel better, and don’t let this unfair turn of events color your attitude towards blogging. Blogging is meant for expression and communication – these awards in that context are effectively meaningless.

  • Tamar

    I’ve stopped even trying with these awards that require constant voting from fans. That’s not what it should be about. And it should also be about having a panel of experts, not related to the blogs in any way, deciding on who is nominated and who wins.

    I’m sorry this happened to you. it really stinks big time.

  • The Swiss Cats

    Strange, very strange all that Petties Award mess : it’s sad, because it doesn’t look like a credible award anymore for this year. They could have apologize, whatever is the reason of this disorder, concerned bloggers would have been less disappointed with it. We love your blog, Layla, and we give every day our own awards to the blogs we like to read and comment ! Purrs

  • Caren Gittleman

    You know what would speak volumes? If those who are still finalists (for whatever that is worth), had the cajones TO PULL OUT. Maybe if there were no interest they would “get it.”

  • Cathy Keisha

    I said my piece on FB but will add that I NEVER norminate any blog that begs day after day for nominations. I also rarely vote in for these awards. I do realize that everyone’s shelter can use the money and we all think our shelter is the best. I love your blog. Whether I comment every day or not, you’re one of the few blogs we’re subscribed to. Let me close by saying: look at the organization handling these awards—DOG Time Media. I bet CAT Time Media wouldn’t muck up like this and not at least apologize. Cats still rule and dogs still drool. Big time.

  • Kim Clune

    I so feel you. I just posted this in a conversation on my personal Facebook profile regarding why my dog rescue is now cut from Best Designed Blog and Best Blog Post. I’m so sorry this happened to you and to everybody who suddenly got cut – and even those who now “won.” Here’s why…

    “They cut a lot of bloggers initially congratulated as finalists… and did nothing more than send a mass “Whoopsy” email, a repeat of the photo caption above, that did nothing to explain what happened.

    Dogtime is an industry giant. A national press release was sent out naming the winners. It’s embarrassing for those initial finalists who eagerly announced their excitement to the pubic and then had the accolades stripped away. And all they get is the two sentences above? Dogtime’s communications team has truly gone to the dogs.

    Worse yet, AJ alerted me that, on Twitter, Dogtime said in a single tweet that the new “complete” list was now posted. As AJ pointed out, complete would imply that parts were missing and then added… not an entirely new list with many people removed.

    I truly am relieved to not feel obligated to partake for the dogs. It’s exhausting. I had publicly backed out when my personal blog became a finalist in 2012, but would have gone forward for the pups. I’m still mad, all the same.

    Dogtime’s handling of their blunder is so flip. For the people who spent a month encouraging people to nominate them (not so stinging to us – our rescue never saw either 2014 nomination coming), it’s downright disrespectful. These cut bloggers are our friends and I feel terribly for them. I also feel terrible for the new finalists who have to carry this baggage knowing they unwittingly booted their fellow blogging friends in a cruel twist of electronic buggary.

    If Dogtime got hacked or screwed up, they should just say so. This in-explanation is far worse than admitting a breach or personal error.”

  • Bernadette

    Whatever happens with the Petties does not change your blog! If your health and other commitments allow, please don’t stop posting!

    The Petties were all handled very badly from the start and this whole system of voting daily for two whole months is an absolutely ridiculous way to determine who qualifies and wins in these categories. The fact that two posts from previous years were finalists that weren’t even promoted, and I know those posts and the ones that were promoted, as well as other really popular blogs that didn’t even show up and actually a couple of bloggers who said they hadn’t promoted themselves who did show up surely didn’t seem right to me, and I don’t want an award I don’t deserve if there is that much question. But they should have clearly stated why the nominations were closed, and should have been more clear about the new choices–and those who were in the running before should get a consolation prize. I’m shocked that I ended up in two extra categories, but it wasn’t me, it was that very special cat and dog :).

    I hope you feel better soon! I look forward to continuing to follow the boys and your posts!

  • Savannah's Paw Tracks

    Layla, I voted the first year I started this blog…then realized that it is popularity…not true quality that is being awarded. So I never participate or vote. The BP nose to nose awards carry more credibility weight IMHO. Although I experience even those as having some question for credibility as well. But at least we don’t vote on them. I am so sorry you have so much personal illness to deal with just when you need all your health to work with the cats rescued from the hoarding, not to mention your work with the NYC Mayors Alliance. I have also focused my time on actual rescue work and fund raising for rescue. I visit blogs when I can, and I post 3x a week only. So you certainly have our support for wherever you chose to focus your energy…just focus first on self health, warm healing purrs, Linda and Savannah

  • Angel AbbyGrace

    We read sporadically on FB about some issues with these awards and it didn’t sound like they were addressing the problem. The all of a sudden everything is closed down and I’m sure there was lots of scrambling in the background behind closed doors. Layla as much as I’m sure you would love to win the $1000 for your shelter this is simply a farce. It’s left a bad taste I think in just about everyone’s palate. All of us who read your postings think you are a true winner!

  • da tabbies o trout towne

    doodz….we wundered why the past two dayz votin had been …closed…..we saw de original list …N how sad for thoz noe longer …ON that list….. coz we noe they were hope inn their shelter would win….we iz troo lee sorree thiz happened two YUR blog..can we say ewe guyz still bee winnerz in R book & New Rochelle getted a “vote” frum uz two…♥♥♥♥♥

  • Rascal and Rocco

    I don’t value those awards either, since it’s a popularity contest and whoever spends more time campaigning themselves to get votes. Not based on actual talent or value. Still, at least an apology! Some sort of notification! So sorry for the disappointment. Rocco says he’d sit on that directors head & scratch her up good.

  • jansfunnyfarm

    Ouch! That does devalue the awards when such a glaring mistake is made and you didn’t even get an apology. We love your blog and know you put a lot of work into it.


  • The Island Cats

    We don’t put much weight in these type of awards since it’s up to the blogger to get the nominations and then push for votes.

    We know which blogs are winners. And Miss Layla, you’re a winner in our book. But we know that winning means getting $$$ for a shelter, and that’s important. We’re sorry this happened.

  • Church Cat Tom

    Would it have been so hard to keep you as a nominee? What’s the difference? Now, the whole process is contaminated and others are now wondering just how much value there is in their awards, much less in the organization and anything and everything it stands for.

    Sorry, but I am very tough on enterprises such as this. You don’t make mistakes, not only because it hurts people but they turn into marketing nightmares.

    Your blog is stellar, we always enjoy reading it, and all the hard work behind a distinctive blog such as yours should be recognized.

    Julie and the kitties

  • maggie

    Your blog is beautiful, insightful, and informative. What an unpleasant thing to happen. Your blog is also missed here- I seem to have fallen off the email list again…

  • Sammy

    Regardless of nominations and awards and whether someone messes things up or not, we love your blog – always HAVE loved your blog and think it’s #1 PERIOD!!!! Too bad whoever is in charge of things can’t keep things straight though….you should get an apology. Definitely!

    Hugs, Pam and Sam

  • Nerissa's Life

    You know what they say… They say, “measure twice and cut once.” Everythin’ should have been checked and double-checked BEFORE the list of finalists went out.

    They also say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade… or somethin’ like that. I can never quite remember that one on account of my bein’ a cat and you know… cats don’t like lemons.

    So that’s what I’ve decided to do. Make the best of it and make some lemonade but truth be told, I’m thinkin’ my lemonade might be a little on the sour side. MO– — — USES! Why didn’t they give me some sugar to go with those lemons?


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