For more information, contact:
Kim Ralston
MVMF Communications


(May 6, 2022) – The Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation (MVMF) has announced the winner of the 2022 Animal Archives “Pet of the Year.” The Archives offers an internet-based memorial program devoted to departed pets. This year’s winner is “Maris,” a twelve-year-old Husky mixed-breed dog owned by Sharon Kirchhofer of St. Louis, Mo. She was honored by Rebekah Kirchhofer.

Maris was one of six nominees in this year’s competition. Nominees are chosen from the previous year’s submissions to the Archives. During 2021/2022, the public was invited to vote online for their favorite departed pet based on its life story and the bond between the pet and its owners.

Votes from across the state were cast for the six candidates. An Honorable Mention goes to the other five Pet of the Year candidates: “Bismarck”, “Missy”, “Coltan”, “Yadi” and “Buzz”.

“We met Maris the summer of 2008. She was 12-weeks old; a darling black and white puppy. Weeks prior to our meeting, she was rescued by the Humane Society of Missouri from rural Missouri. At the time of her rescue, Maris was starving, infested with ticks and fleas and fearful. After addressing her flea and tick infestation and treating the secondary skin infection she developed from the infestation, the Humane Society placed her in foster care for socialization. A dog DNA test revealed Maris was a mix of Greyhound, Siberian Husky and Australian Sheppard. The Greyhound manifested in her lightning fast trips around the yard. The Australian Sheppard expressed in her love of corralling and rolling small dogs. The Siberian Husky evident in her daily conversations with us. Although always mature for her age, Maris became a fierce protector. Her watchful eye and loyalty made us feel safe. Even though her circle of friends was small, the unconditional love she showed her Mom, Dad and the sister, who carried her out of the Humane Society, was huge. Her love for Lion’s Choice mini ice cream cones, a daily treat, was also huge. Car rides, walks and bedtimes cookies (dog treat) brought her additional pleasure. Maris left us suddenly on Sept. 4, 2020, following a sudden and fatal seizure. The day she passed she had enjoyed one last ice cream cone, a visit to her favorite park and a car ride with the people who loved her most. She leaves behind an immeasurable hole in our family. She was our baby. She was perfect. She was loved. Maris, miss you forever, love Mom.” – Sharon Kirchhofer

Coming soon… View the next Pet of the Year candidates and vote for your favorite pet. Go to the Animal Archives of Missouri website at

As a public charity that supports the charitable and educational purposes and activities of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA), the Missouri Veterinary Medical Foundation focuses on public education and animal welfare issues to further the health of animals in Missouri. For more information on the Foundation, go to


To download full image, right-click and choose “save image as”

Maris, the 2022 Animal Archives of Missouri “Pet of the Year”.