Judges for pet contest: animal communicators, politician, and an actual pet

We’ve got an amazing team of judges lined up for the Taste of Annandale best-dressed pet contest, including two people able to communicate with animals on a spiritual level, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and a canine candidate.

The best-dressed pet contest hosted by Chico’s Natural Pet Market, is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. on Oct. 5 on the main stage on Tom Davis Drive. The actual judging will start a bit earlier, so pets should be there by 1 p.m. or so. Sign up to participate here,  then stop by Chico’s for a free outfit and get a fitting.

Some of the free outfits available for best-dressed pet contestants.

At the Taste of Annandale, there will be just one category – the pet with the most inspired and creative outfit. The judges will select the first, second, and third-place winners and the audience will then pick their favorite. After the festival, those four winners will have an opportunity to compete to become “Chico’s Next Pet Model.” Register your pet here.

Amy Martin is one of the new judges this year, along with Del. Kaye Kory. Diane Roadcap and Willie, who were judges last year, are coming back.

Martin is a gifted empath who helps people consciously connect with their animal companion through all stages of life, even after the pet passes out of the material world.

Amy Martin

In addition to one-on-one sessions, Martin does school events and workshops with children.

A former zoologist, Martin has worked with all types of animals, including a crow, buffalo, gorilla, and jaguar – even a worm – as well as cats and dogs. As a Cherokee, she describes her practice as a shamanic journey and “a very long and very involved process that is truly life changing.”

“I’m very humbled by what these spirit animals teach me,” she says. “They all have powerful messages for humans.”

Diane Roadcap has a physic gift that enables her to telepathically communicate with animals to get insight into their hearts and souls. She gives private consultations and has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and TV and radio shows.

“I consider it spiritual work,” Roadcap says. It’s not about reading body language or treating a pet’s behavior problems. What she does is use her sense of the third eye to understand an animal’s illness, pain, needs, and inner state and can communicate with animals even if they are no longer living.

While most of her work is with cats and dogs, Roadcap has worked with all types of animals, including ferrets and alligators.

“Animals are spiritual beings just like you and I,” she says.

Ezra at work

Del. Kaye Kory, who is running for re-election unopposed in the 38th District, is definitely a pet person – with dog Ben and sibling cats Ezra and Eloise.

Ben, a 7-year-old, 120-pound lab/German shepherd mix, was in kill shelters until he was saved by the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation. The cats, just over a year old, were saved by DC Paws Rescue after they were left homeless following a hurricane in the South.

Ezra, the “politi-cat,” is a member of Team Kory and even has his own tab on her campaign website. Ezra’s job is taking charge of the keyboard and serving as a furry paperweight.

One of Kory’s accomplishments during the past year was helping prevent the eviction of Chico’s Natural Pet Market from Barcroft Plaza.

The other politician who’s going to help judge the pet contest is Willie, the dog running for mayor of Annandale. Willie is bringing Giovanna, his human campaign manager, who operates the Embark! TV YouTube channel and Instagram account.

Willie, a pit bull mix, and Giovanna travel the country reporting on pet-friendly businesses and positive animal stories.

Their campaign platform for Annandale, or, as they put it, “Annan-tail,” is to encourage more parks, more outdoor dining, and more pet-friendly amenities, such as businesses with outdoor hooks for leashes.

Most recently, the pair highlighted the dog-friendly climate at the TD bank in Annandale, where employees gave Willie a bag of dog treats and a bandanna. They would love for Annandale to have a Halloween trick-or-treat event for dogs like the one at the Village at Shirlington. At the Taste of Annandale, Willie and Giovanna will hand out campaign stickers.

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