Pets Jump, Cuddle, and Mug for the Camera

Photo awards finalists show off their extreme silly side.

excited dog playing in leaves

Diana Jill Mehner / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

There are dogs leaping for joy, lounging cats, and even a grinning horse. Pets never disappoint with their silly antics in front of the camera.

The finalists in this year's Comedy Pet Photo Awards include "Crazy in love with fall," shown above, by Diana Jill Mehner of Germany. The image features a dog gleefully playing in a pile of leaves.

Mehner describes her photo:

This is Leia. As you can see, she definitely love playing with all the leaves in autumn - and yes it was really tricky to take this picture because you never know where the dog will act and what it is going to do next.

Forty shortlisted images and three videos were chosen from more than 2,000 entries received from around the world. The winners will be announced in November.

The competition will donate 10,000 pounds (nearly $14,000) to the charity Animal Support Animals, thanks to a partnership with Animal Friends Insurance.

"It has been a very odd 24 months for most of us, but one heartwarming life affirming and consistent presence has kept many of us relatively sane and definitely happier than we might have been: our pet (or pets!)," said competition co-founder Tom Sullam.

"This year’s competition, hugely supported by the brilliant team at Animal Friends, has been a revelation to us and to all the pet lovers in the world. Again, too many great images to choose from, and always seems unfair to have a winner, but we have to… so now…. Dogs, cats, horses and so many other pets that do so much for our well-being, I want to thank you all!"

Here's a look at some of the finalists.

"Muttford and Chum"

man with banjo and dog singing

Luke O'Brien / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

Luke O'Brien of Coventry, United Kingdom entered this photo of him singing with his dog.

Losing the opportunity to play with my human band mates during lockdown, Flint my rescue dog soon taught me that we didn't just have sharp bones in common, but musical ones too. He soon became the perfect substitute for a collaborative stomp up at home, so much so that we felt we deserved our own band name (Muttford and Chum). With my camera set up remotely during this shoot, I think it's fair to say that the image is proof that his conviction as a performer matches my own - well, we were covering "treats and tugs and dinner bowls" by Ian Puli and the Boneheads.


dog playing on beach

Christine Johnson / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

Christine Johnson snapped this photo at Crosby Beach in the U.K.

I was busy playing with my dog on the beach and this dog came to play. I liked the shapes he was making in the air.

"The Eureka Moment!"

two chicks

Sophie Bonnefoi / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

It's not just dogs and cats. Sophie Bonnefoi was fascinated by two chicks.

Cutie and Speedy are 2 chicks hatched from eggs placed in an incubator at home in August 2020. They spent their first few weeks indoors. On the photo they are just over 2 weeks old. They were curious about everything. This is the day they discovered their own shadow. It was hilarious to see them wondering and exploring that "dark thing" that was moving with them!

"Embrace of love"

puppy and kitten hugging

Svetlana Pisareva / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

Svetlana Pisareva captured a canine-feline bonding moment in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Siba's puppy cuddles with his beloved cat.

"Jurassic Bark "

golden retriever with water from hose

Carmen Cromer / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards

Carmen Cromer of Pittsboro, North Carolina, photographed a moment of glee in the yard.

My golden retriever, Clementine, loves to stick her face in front of the hose while I water the plants. Her expression in this photo made me think of a tyrannosaurus rex, hence the title, Jurassic Bark... duh nuh nuuuh nuhnuh, duh nuh nuuuh nuh nuh, dun duh duuuh nuh nuh nuh nUUUUUUhhhh.

"Caught red-pawed"

cat in drawer

Danielle Wood / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

Danielle Wood's cat certainly didn't want her to do chores that day. This was shot at her home in Makerfield, U.K.

This is my very mischievous Bengal cat, Bailey! On this particular day I was trying to put away the washing but he would do whatever it took to get those all important belly rubs!


horse 'smiling'

David Poznanter / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

Some animals just mug for the camera. David Poznanter of the U.S. photographed this grinning horse in France.

Oak on a windy day showing off his pearly whites!

"Cat Model"

cat posing

Kenichi Morinaga / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

This cat obviously knows he is photogenic. Kenichi Morinaga recognized star quality and took this shot in Fukuoka, Japan.  

He is an model of cat. So I just focus my DSLR for cat, He is just make a pose like that and then shoot.

"Long Cow"

cows in barn

Pier Luigi Dodi / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

Pier Luigi Dodi couldn't resist these cows in a barn in Fidenza, Italy.

Optical illusion or gene mutation?!

"House Squatter!"

cat in owl box

Thomas Marlie / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

Ann-Marie Connolly of Germany caught their cat lurking in a tree where he definitely wasn't supposed to be.

Our cat Simba occupying the owl box

"Peep Hole"

dog looking through peep hole in fence

Millie Kerr / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

Millie Kerr noticed this pup playing peek-a-boo on the other side of a fence.

Someone in my parents' neighborhood in San Antonio, Texas, put in a peep hole for their terrier so it can look through the fence! I love passing by and seeing its adorable face peering at me.


cat photobomb

Kathryn Trott / Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 

Some individuals just have to steal the spotlight. That's what Kathryn Trott found when she tried to photograph her cats in Ystradgynlais, Wales.

Jeff stealing the limelight from his brother Jaffa.