Perhaps it was a bold move, asking Jmore readers to nominate their beloved pets and submit photos of their favorite critters to be featured in our “Pets Issue.” Some might even call it a journalistic “faux paw” on our part. (Sorry about that.)

Nonetheless, we were touched and overwhelmed by the volume of submissions and worthiness of the candidates, not to mention the unadulterated love, devotion and emotion conveyed by “owners” about their pets.

Here are some of our favorites, as well as some “honorable mentions.” And we celebrate those four-legged friends – dogs, cats, turtles, horses, what-have-you – and other furry creatures who live among us and bring so much joy and meaning to our lives.

Also see: Pets Issue Cover Shoot