True Life Hero Dogs! The Hero Dog Awards!
Hero Dogs! A War Dog that Saved our Troops’ lives and now works with Veterans with PTSD; A Law Enforcement Dog that despite shattered bones, came to the aid of his partners; A Therapy Dog once set on fire, now changing Animal Abuse Laws; A Service Dog who accompanied her person into the operating room to monitor her reactions and keep her alive; An Arson Dog who has worked over 200 fire scenes; and An Emerging Hero Dog starved to edge of death brings her autistic little boy from silence to interactive. These are the Hero Dogs of the 2014 Hero Dog Awards! They are the real deal. Here, they join Super Smiley, the National Spokes-Dog for the Hero Dog Awards, on this amazing Super Smiley Adventure. And listen in to find out who the dogs will be wearing on the red carpet!!
Justin Davis and Kai
The San Antonio Fire Department’s six-year-old black Lab was rescued from a shelter and given a second chance and a new lease on life. Her nose for finding things was apparent when she was seen digging the only tennis ball out of the shelter’s box of toys. After undergoing extensive training, she now helps keep others safe by investigating arson cases by using her powerful nose to detect the common accelerants that arsonists use to commit their deadly, destructive crime. In her four-year career she has taken part in more than 200 investigations and also helps to keep her community safe by teaching children about the importance of fire safety.
Brittney Neer and Kota
On January 3, 2014, this member of the Winchester, Virginia police force was injured while responding to a burglary in progress. While in the process of detaining the suspect – who had hidden himself in the upstairs crawlspace – the ceiling gave way and the dog tumbled to the hardwood floor eight feet below. Undeterred, he bravely climbed back up the stairs and helped his fellow officers finish the call, fighting with a severely fractured limb to ensure their safety. Kota is now undergoing extensive physical therapy with hopes of one day returning to active duty.
Michelle Krawczyk and JJ
Once a shelter dog, this small hero was rescued, trained, and partnered with a young girl suffering from a rare condition known as Mastocytosis, which can cause severe reactions for her. This dog with the gifted nose can detect when reactions are about to occur, alerting the girl’s parents that her life might be in danger. When she needed surgery recently, doctors requested the dog be present in the operating room to help keep the girl alive.
Linda Hickey and Xena the Warrior Puppy
This pit bull was knocking on death’s door when she was brought into a Georgia shelter outside Atlanta. Emaciated and dehydrated, she was given just a one percent chance at survival. Unbelievably, she defied the odds, made a full recovery and was adopted by a family with a little boy with autism. Before, the child had closed himself off to the world, but the arrival of Xena sparked something in the child, and now he went from once silent to constantly singing to and chatting with Xena the Warrior Puppy.
Matt Hatala and Chaney
This eight-year-old lab retired from the Marines in 2013 after multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as an IED detection dog. While deployed, Chaney not only saved countless lives by locating IEDs, he also served as a great morale booster for everyone in his squad. Since retiring, Chaney was adopted by one of his handlers and they now spend many hours volunteering around the Midwest for a nonprofit organization called Retrieving Freedom, Inc., which trains service dogs for disabled veterans and children with autism.
Donna Lawrence and Susie
A puppy that was set on fire and a woman who suffered a brutal dog attack became a dedicated team that eventually changed North Carolina animal-cruelty laws. Susie the Pit Bull mix began life with terror and pain when she was beaten, burned, and abandoned. Susie and her owner both triumphed over pain and fear to become voices for abused animals that have no voice. They visit hospitals, schools, and nursing homes to inspire people never to give up