Silly Pets Swim, Drive, and Grin for Photo Awards

And one smart cat contemplates her next chess move.

puppy and kitten napping together

Peter Cech / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Cat buddies and dog buddies. Lots of water playtime, silly looks, and a cat contemplating its next chess moves.

These are some of the finalists in the Comedy Pet Photo Awards, featuring dogs and cats and a few other animals mugging for the camera. Thirty shortlisted images and videos were chosen from hundreds of entries submitted from nearly 70 countries.

“Pillow,” above, was taken by Slovakian photographer Peter Cech in the Czech Republic of a cuddly puppy and kitten. He describes the image as, “A wonderful friendship of our family members.”

In the contest, pet owners compete for the title of Comedy Pet Photographer of the Year and about $2,500 (2,000 pounds sterling) in prize money.

“We really love running this competition, the adoration that people have for their pets and vice versa is a wonderful thing to see and be part of,” said Paul Joynson-Hicks, co-founder of the awards. “The images and videos entered are a genuine and touching reflection of the special bond that exists between humans and animals, and we can’t help but feel happier for seeing them.”

The contest supports animal charities and this year is donating nearly $42,000 (35,000 pounds sterling) to three U.K.-based charities dedicated to caring for and finding homes for abandoned animals. With sponsorship from Animal Friends Insurance, the funds will benefit Dean Farm Trust, London Inner City Kitties, and Wild at Heart Foundation. An additional donation will be made to the animal charity of the winner’s choice.

This year’s contest also features a People’s Choice Award where you can pick your favorite photo online. Voting ends Aug. 22 and overall winners will be announced on Sept. 13.

Here are some of this year’s finalists:

"Chauffeur Dog"

Dog in driver's seat

Mehmet Aslan / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Mehmet Aslan of Turkey did a doubletake when driving and saw a dog behind the wheel.

Aslan describes it as "the situation I encountered at traffic lights."

"Shakin' hedgehog"

wet dog shaking in the lake

Alessandro Po / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Alessandro Po of London likely got wet taking this action shot.

"Brought Max to the lake and caught him just out of the water with an amazing shake off," Po says. "His face looks like a hedgehog."

 "Grandmistress Candy"

cat staring at a chess board

Jonathan Casey / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Candy the cat is concentrating her next move in this photo by Jonathan Casey of the United Kingdom.

"My tabby cat Candy is ranked East Anglia #1," Casey explains.

"Werewolf 2.0"

dog in a hammock

Karl Goldhamer / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Karl Goldhamer of Germany says, "Even a werewolf needs to relax sometimes …"

 "Mine, not yours!"

two puppies waiting for a treat

Lucy Sellors-Duval / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Lucy Sellors-Duval got a great shot in the U.K. while these dogs had their eye on treats.

"Benji was determined to be the one to get all the yummy treats during his photo shoot even if it meant stopping his older brother Doug," she says.

"Smokin' Alpaca"

alpaca with stick

Stefan Brusius / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Stefan Brusius captured an alpaca in Germany who looks like he is smoking a cigar.

"Nilo's Love for Water"

happy, wet dog

Jose Bayon / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Jose Bayon took a photo of a rescue dog in Spain who is in love with water.

"Nilo is an adopted puppy about 10 months old. He was hit by a car and was barely saved," Bayon says. "Now recovered, he has just discovered water for the first time. His capers and pirouettes show his passion for water. Love at first sight."

"Boom Boom"

cats butting heads on a fence

Kenichi Morinaga / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Kenichi Morinaga spotted these cats on a fence in Japan, giving each other a head bump.

"It was like a cartoon bamped boom boom," Morinaga says. "Such a funny moment."

"Hello Penny!"

dog looking over a fence

Holly Stranks / Animal Friends Comedy Pets

Just a dog hanging over a fence with a silly expression, says Holly Stranks of the U.K.

"This is Penny doing an impression of Sid the Sloth from the 'Ice Age' movies," she says.

Why Pets Matter to Treehugger

At Treehugger, we are advocates of animal welfare, including our pets and other domestic animals. We hope our readers will adopt rescue pets instead of shopping from breeders or pet stores, and will also consider supporting local animal shelters.