Want the logo to be cutting edge, style with greating lighting and attention to detail - should be simple (the best logos are) but not something your cousin could do ;) - really hoping to see a fresh, stylish, new twist to pet community logos. That's what it will take to win this.
The community will be segmented for major categories of pet niches which means paw prints (which are way overused anyway) are out of the question. Niches are the the obvious dogs and cats, but also horses, reptiles, birds and fish - other may develop if the site gets viral. Not opposed to seeing a dog/cat blended into the design playing to the largest audience, but it cannot dominate.
What will win hands down?? Great but not overdone illustration, great color use/balance, great lighting (including reflection if it suits you), great fonts/integration and something we haven't seen on 20 other major pet community sites.