The landmark competition attracted thousands of entries from 32 countries, with all manner of animals photographed by their adoring guardians.
Needless to say, however, the prize for the most entered animal went to dogs.
From leaping Alsatians, handsome huskies, and intrepid border collies to funny French bulldogs and graceful greyhounds, the unveiled images show our canine friends in all their varied glory. And whether dog, horse, or cat, all photos are an uplifting reminder of the way pets gleam with health and vitality when properly loved and cared for.
The stars of the competition, and their winning images, were revealed at a highly-anticipated ceremony in Las Vegas.
Prizes were handed to winners and finalists in five categories: Action, Creative, Documentary, Pets and People, and Portrait. Entrants submitted work into each category, scoring points for each image that were then tallied up to determine the overall finalists.
The overall winner of the 2023 awards was Sanna Sander, an experienced dog photographer from Sweden.
Former animal welfare worker Belinda Richards, from Australia, was named as an overall finalist for her humorous and creative portraits of both dogs and cats. Fellow finalist Renate Zuidema entered dream-like images of horses in her native country, the Netherlands.
Alicja Zmysłowska—who is accustomed to working with what she calls “wild souls”—Czechoslovakian wolfdogs, wolves, and American wolfdogs—was awarded for her breathtaking shots taken in dramatic natural locations in Poland. Ms. Zmysłowska was also the overall winner in the Pets and People category.
German animal lover Sabrina Theden scooped an overall finalist prize for her touching images depicting the unbreakable bond between dogs and humans.
An Di Prima, who comes from Scotland, won the top award in the Documentary category for her picture of a podenco dog being hugged by a rescuer.