Congratulations to Dusty Rainbolt: Latest Human-Animal Bond Award Winner


Although Goodnewsforpets recognized her in our original CWA 2023 contest post, as we head into 2024,  we couldn’t resist a special shout-out to writer and cat rescuer extraordinaire Dusty Rainbolt. Rainbolt was awarded the Human-Animal Bond Award at the November CWA 2023 Communications Contest Awards Ceremony for her book: “Ghost Cats 2: More Afterlife Encounters with Feline Spirits.” Rainbolt also won the prestigious Michael Brim CWA Service Award. In receiving her Goodnewsforpets award plaque, Rainbolt said:

Dusty Rainbolt at home with her Goodnewsforpets Human-Animal Bond Award Plaque.

“As an in-the-trenches rescuer, I experience a lot of heartbreaking moments. But when there is a love connection between a cat and their human, it makes everything worthwhile. And that bond is for life. I’m so honored to receive the Human-Animal Bond Award because that means the stories in Ghost Cats 2 made a connection with someone. Maybe it validated a feeling deep inside them. Maybe it gave them hope; perhaps it gave them closure or even forgiveness. I hope it means they look at life and death through a different lens. Thank you Lea-Ann and I will treasure this award.” has been sponsoring the award since the 2015 contest. Editor and Publisher Lea-Ann Germinder decided to sponsor the award after handling the sponsorship of the award for her clients at the time:

“I am especially pleased this year that Dusty Rainbolt has won this award as she is the CWA leader that brought this opportunity for our clients Fort Dodge Animal Health and later Ceva Animal Health to sponsor the award several years ago. When the chance for to sponsor the award, I knew it was the right decision for us. Congratulations to Dusty and all the prior recipients. You truly are magnificent champions of the human-animal bond when it comes to cats,” said Lea-Ann Germinder, editor + publisher of and its digital platforms. 

Ghost Cats 2 Book Cover

The judge for the award was Steven Feldman, President of HABRI, the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, where he advances the science and public policy that validates the positive role of pets and animals in the integrated health of families and communities.  Steve said of the entry:

“This year, there seemed to be a theme that emerged in the category, with several entries taking the form of tributes to beloved cats that had passed away. Each of these entries is a heartfelt testament to the human-animal bond. The winning entry, Ghost Cats 2 More Afterlife Encounters with Feline Spirits, takes this concept one step further with a well-written, full-length book. Each story in this book highlights the ability of cats to enrich our lives, improving our mental and physical health. While this judge cannot confirm the existence of “ghost cats,” it is fair to say that the relationship we have with our cats is so incredibly powerful that it can often outlast death. Congratulations to the winner of the Human-Animal Bond Award!”

Check out the prestigious list of prior recipients:

Goodnewsforpets CWA Human-Animal Bond Award Recipients

2022               Jen Reeder

                          “Meditating cat offers Zen-like support to kids affected by trauma” on

2021               Kristin Avery

                         “Second-Chance Cats, True Stories of the Cats We Rescue and the Cats Who Rescue Us”

2020              Katherine Kern

                          “Imperfectly perfect … together: The power of one cat’s love”

2019               Katherine Kern

                          “Do Cats Need Human Interaction or Are They Completely Fine on Their Own?”

2018               Deborah Camp

                          “Pets Are Part of the Family – Vets Are Too”

2017               Deborah Barnes

                         “The Strength of the Human-Animal Bond”

2016               Ramona Marek  (under sister company GNFP Digital)

 “The Strength of the Human-Animal Bond”

Congratulations to Dusty and all prior recipients! And for those history buffs, here is a look back at an interview with Dusty and her tribute to the late beloved Dr. Jim Richards….

A Texas Talk with Dusty Rainbolt: Remembering Dr. Jim Richards, A New Book & More


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