Home Labrador News Twenty Four Hero Dogs Advance To Semifinals Of 2015 Hero Dog Awards!

Twenty Four Hero Dogs Advance To Semifinals Of 2015 Hero Dog Awards!

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A total of 24 brave hero dogs have advanced to the semifinal round of the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.

With more than 600,000 votes by animal lovers across the US, only two dozen dogs among 171 incredible hero dogs made it to the next round.

Voting is open to the public. All you have to do is visit www.HeroDogAwards.org every day – from today until June 26. You may vote once per day for your favorite hero dog in one of eight categories:

  • Military Dogs
  • Arson Dogs
  • Emerging Hero Dogs
  • Service Dogs
  • Law Enforcement Dogs
  • Search and Rescue Dogs
  • Guide/Hearing Dogs
  • Therapy Dogs

From May 25-June 26, people can cast their votes to determine the 8 category finalists.

Once the eight finalists are chosen, a final round of voting will be held from July 4-September 7 to determine 2015’s American Hero Dog among them.

The eight finalists will fly to Los Angeles to take part in the Hero Dog Awards gala that will be held on September 19 at the Beverly Hilton, where one will be chosen as the 2015 American Hero Dog.

Check out the finalists below.

[learn_more caption=”Emerging Heroes”]

Juno
Charity Partner: Pets for Patriots

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Juno“Juno is a six pound Chihuahua and the pack leader of Juno’s Place.
Juno was adopted when she was two months old and sick with pneumonia.
She was nursed back to health by her adoptive mom Deborah Young.
Juno’s calm demeanor and gentle disposition towards children and adults make her the perfect ambassador and trusted friend.
Event fundraisers for Juno are an opportunity for her to engage and interact with the public.
Organizations supported by Juno include Kane’s Krusade, Spay Worcester, Pet Rock Festival, The Cold Noses Foundation, SweetPea Animal Shelter, Massachusetts Vest- A -Dog, Paws For A Cause and ending B.S.L.
Juno campaigned on behalf of SweetPea shelter and was awarded a Petco Foundation grant totaling $18,461.00.
This provided needed renovations and the construction of the “Freedom Yard.”
Juno and her pack leader do not confine their efforts to animals alone.
Juno’s Paw-it-Forward project collects supplies for a school where 98% of the students live at poverty level. Items such as backpacks, school supplies, clothing and food are donated yearly.
Juno supports finding a cure to say goodbye to cancer.
In 2014, Juno raised $1,000.00 for the A.C.S.Relay For Life and a “Christmas in August” for a preschooler fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Juno and Deb are also spearheading their “Speak Up” nationwide campaign. It encourages people to recognize the link between domestic violence and animal abuse.
Juno’s Place has 135,000 followers actively engaged in Juno’s causes.
Juno is known as “the little dog that does big things.”

 

Brian

Charity Partner: Pets for Patriots

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Brian“Brian was brought into the Baldwin Park animal shelter starved down to 41 pounds. He was in such bad health that they were going to put him down in 45 minutes. He was networked that day and late into the night. Luckily one of the shelter workers knew of a rescue for last chance, senior and hospice care animals. The rescue’s name is Leave No Paws Behind. They picked him up first thing the next morning. The good doctors at East Valley Animal Clinic didn’t think he would make it, but they did everything possible to give him a chance. There was no sign of any medical cause for Brian to be so thin. It turned out he was just simply starved. He was used as a backyard breeding dog and when they had used him up and he became more of a liability versus a source of income, they left him to die. After two weeks at the veterinarian’s, he was released into foster care, were I had to feed him nine cups of food a day, one cup every hour and at small handfuls at a time so he didn’t eat too much and get bloat. He was not allowed to move much since he needed every calorie. He also needed medicines, but most of all sleep and lots of love. After 3 months he was medically released to go for short walks, and after six months he was completely medically released to slowly build muscles.”

 

Harley

Charity Partner: New Leash on Life

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Harley“Harley spent 10 years living in a small cage in a puppy mill before he was rescued and found a loving home. His journey of physical and emotional healing inspired a campaign called “Harley to the Rescue” which has raised the funds to save (and provide medical care for) more than 500 dogs from puppy mills over the past two years. Harley personally goes on these rescue missions; and there is no doubt that Harley is keenly aware of what is happening! There is something indescribable in the way he communicates with the sad and scared dogs. As a spokes-dog against puppy mills, Harley has educated thousands of people, of all ages, about the horrors of the commercial dog breeding industry. Harley makes public appearances at events and schools where he gladly accepts love and attention from everyone. Harley’s grizzled appearance is a testament to the care and nurturing that he had never received. He had issues: a diseased heart, a mouth filled with rot, a fused spine, a broken tail, gnarled toes, and legs that were deformed. And then there is the missing eye – the result of his cage being power-washed with him in it (an all too common practice in puppy mills). All of these conditions were the result of years of horrendous neglect and abuse. Harley is a voice for the thousands of breeding dogs still living in puppy mills, and by winning the “Emerging Hero” award it will draw attention to help further his mission.”

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[learn_more caption=”Search and Rescue Dogs”]

Maddy

Charity Partner: American Rescue Dog Association

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Maddy“Tossed aside from the world as a malnourished, fearful dog, she only knew hunger and terror. An incredible future was yet to be her fate, and mine. For months I searched for a dog to join me volunteering in search and rescue. It was on a website for homeless dogs that I found her, my Maddy Grace.
After a few weeks of enduring love and attention to get her physically well, we began training. We trained hard together, mastering our search and rescue skills and before we knew it, the evaluation day arrived. As I loaded her in the truck, I hugged her and said, “No matter what, I’m keeping you. Your home is with me.” It turns out that we didn’t need to worry. The evaluator was blown away at her natural ability. Maddy passed the SAR tests like she was born to do it. Maddy and I are a dual nationally certified Search and Rescue team serving the entire Mid-South region. Additionally, we attend local events advocating for adopting a shelter dog.
Hidden inside, Maddy was gifted with yet another skill. She attended an event with me where children share their stories of loss. She provided a listening ear and calmed their broken spirits with natural compassion. Because of this gift, she and I now work with disadvantaged inner city youths and the Special Olympics.
As fate would have it, Maddy has a purpose in life. From homeless to hero, Maddy is making her mark.”

 

Franklin

Charity Partner: The Fetch Foundation

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Franklin“Franklin answered the question of, “Who rescued who?” when I rescued him from a backyard breeder at 15 weeks of age. He has since become a service dog to me, a certified member of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Search Dog Unit, and a therapy dog evaluated for the most complex environments (perfect score) by Pet Partners (ID #: 104317; exp. 9/30/2016). Franklin excels at interactions with little kids. We use Franklin at The Fetch Foundation to socialize other dogs because he is so well-balanced. He is excellent in hospital and senior living facilities. But, Franklin’s real talent is in Search and Rescue. Franklin is spot-on as a human remains detection dog earning certificates and praise from our unit and the North American Search Dog Network for his drive and perfect nose. One of the NASDN evaluators said if her child were ever lost, she would want Franklin on the search. Franklin also excels at air-scenting for finding live subjects and is known for his ability to range far and wide to find subjects. Most of all Franklin is described as “the perfect dog” because he is remarkably social, maintains superior obedience skills, and is a very attractive and fun K-9! Franklin is a hero in every sense of the word. He saved me, makes everyone he comes in contact with smile, and one day will save a lost person.”

 

Glory

Charity Partner: National Search Dog Alliance

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Glory“Glory is an eight-year-old Bloodhound who has been trained and certified to track lost pets. During her long and successful career, she has helped bring closure to hundreds of families. Glory works in extreme temperatures and under difficult conditions and is devoted to her work.

“We were terrified,” says Stephanie, the owner of a lost cat, Pistol. “Pistol was gone from our front yard and we had no idea where to look. When Glory led me to the freeway and wanted to cross, I couldn’t believe it. But Glory was right, as we had Pistol back that same afternoon. Pistol had crossed the 101 freeway and was right across from where Glory indicated.”

Paisley, a Yorkshire terrier mix was lost three days. “How does one even put to words an experience of knowing we may never have seen Paisley again? Without your fierce help and Glory’s devotion to her work, we wouldn’t be sitting here with Paisley tonight.” -Derek

On Goldie, the Pomeranian. “When I received the devastating news that Goldie was missing, I spent six nights walking through the area and calling into a megaphone, put up 300 posters and offered a $1,000 reward. Goldie was lost 60 miles away with no food or water–it was more than my family could bear. Our hearts were broken. On day eight, Landa arrived with Glory working 24 hours a day in the rain. At nine days missing Glory found Goldie alive under crates in an outdoor factory.” -Karin”

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[learn_more caption=”Guide/Hearing Dogs”]

Chara

Charity Partner: Guide Dog Users Inc.

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Chara“Chara was originally trained as a signal service dog. However due to a work accident in 2008, her handler developed a neurological condition known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy type II with Dystonia after a fractured hand. Due to the bond between handler and dog, Chara has trained herself to depict impending myoclonic dystonic attacks (15-45 minutes prior to episodes). This newly found “alerting” skill hasn’t formed just with her handler. Just two weeks after her handler gave birth to her son, he developed a severe cold. Unbeknownst to his mom (who’s also hearing impaired), he stopped breathing. Chara took it upon herself to alert her that something was terribly wrong (monitor was also going off). If it wasn’t for her quick response and love for the newest pack member, he would’ve succumbed to a condition known as SIDS. Chara has gone beyond her original skills of hearing dog. She’s demonstrated such a close bond between her handler and two-legged family that she’s the furry guardian or angel that watches over everyone and everything.”

 

Kannon

Charity Partner: Guide Dog Users Inc.

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Kannon“Kannon is a hero because she makes my dreams come true. Because she walked with me, I was able to complete the 5.5 mile 2015 Tournament of Roses parade, something I’ve dreamed of doing for years. I want the world to know how Kannon makes me more independent and confident, and how she touches other lives along the way. Kannon is a hero because every day, in both routine and unusual situations, she provides the great gifts of freedom and opportunity. She has a steel-trap memory, remembering from year to year how to navigate at annual conferences. She shepherds family/friends making sure no one strays too far from the pack. Kannon is a hero because her special skills allow us to touch the lives of others. Together, we:
• Advocate/educate to prevent blindness and give the gift of sight/life.
• Ring Red Kettle bells.
• Run Senior Bingo.
• Organize school supply drives.
• Promote wellness/exercise.
As we experienced the awesome once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the Rose Parade, I reflected on proudly representing:
• Myself, an individual with many abilities who happens to have a vision problem.
• Diversity and inclusion for ALL individuals.
• Lions serving our community/world.
• Leader Dogs for the Blind, who entrusted me with Kannon’s care.
• Achilles where athletes with and without disabilities come together to exercise in friendship, encouragement, and community.
Many of us have animals, special in their own way, that regularly cross our paths leaving an everlasting memory. Kannon is my hero.”

 

Izaac DeMaio

Charity Partner: Guide Dog Users Inc.

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Izaac DeMaio“When I received Izaac from Fidelco there was an immediate love and bond established between us. Izaac has been the greatest hero that I could have ever imagined. I totally underestimated, when I was making the decision to get my first guide dog, that Izaac would increase my sociability and security. Izaac has given me the freedom and independence to continue living a full and energetic lifestyle. Izaac helps me be the best Parks and Recreation Director that I can be. He enables me to visit our outdoor public pools, parks, monuments, stadiums, etc. He is fabulous with people and crowds. He helps me navigate among 50,000 participants at our July 4th festival or may direct me to the podium on a stage to introduce bands at a concert. Izaac can handle any public meeting that they throw at us. He attends regularly Parks and Recreation, Youth Services, Person with Disabilities, and Senior Center Commission Meetings, and most visibly Town Council Meetings. When I personally exercise, Izaac speeds me through all the exercise equipment at our fitness center. He kayaks on the back up of my boat with me. We swim and play ball together. This summer Izaac enabled me to fly cross country for the first time without a human being to the Oral Hull Blind Adventure Camp in Oregon. With my new found confidence we just attended the Top Dog FunVention in SC. Izaac gives me the confidence to do anything in life; he is truly my hero.”

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[learn_more caption=”Military Dogs”]

Rexo

Charity Partner: The United States War Dogs Chapter #1

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Rexo“My name is SSG Brandon Sanford. I served in the U.S. ARMY as a Military Police officer for 11 years. Six of those years I was a K-9 handler with my explosive detection dog, MWD Rexo. We deployed together to Iraq in 2008 where we both received Purple Hearts for injuries sustained from a road side bomb (IED) during our deployment. When we returned to the states I was separated from Rexo because I was being medically retired due to my injuries received on my deployment. In April of 2012, upon Rexo’s retirement, I was able to submit an application for adoption and I’m happy to say we are both enjoying retirement together.

MWD Rexo was born September 11, 2001 at Lackland AFB. He has been a great asset to the U.S. ARMY and the military on the war on terrorism state side and abroad. MWD Rexo has done countless VIP missions including presidential details in Manhattan, NY and also Baghdad, Iraq when President Bush was there in 2008. On our deployment in Iraq, MWD Rexo played an essential role, finding 22 weapons caches with guns ranging from sniper rifles to AK’s, many IED components and explosives. MWD Rexo also found 22 IED’s from January 2008 to January 2009. He served his fifth and final deployment in Afghanistan in 2011 before his retirement in April 2012.”

 

Matty

Charity Partner: America’s Vet Dogs, the Veterans K9 Corp

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Matty“Matty and Brent were deployed in Afghanistan, then on more than one occasion saved numerous lives of service men. Both were injured in an IED attack. They were recommended for medals for their heroics. Upon arrival to the U.S. they were separated. SPC Grommet filed adoption papers for Matty twice and both times the army lost his papers. Matty was adopted out to someone else. After a long and frustrating fight Matty and Brent are back together. They are healing together now. Matty saved Brent’s life in so many ways.”

 

Rambo

Charity Partner: America’s Vet Dogs, the Veterans K9 Corp

Hero Dogs - Rambo“Sgt. Rambo served in the Marine Corps from January 6, 2011 to April 11, 2012 as an explosive detection MWD based out of MCCS Cherry Point, N.C. While on active duty, Rambo conducted 994 hours of training, and 622 missions on base and in his local community. Rambo was medically retired due to a left shoulder injury and in November 2012 had to have that limb amputated.
Rambo has gone on to be Alamo Honor Flight’s mascot, accompanying countless WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. and even having the honor of meeting Senator and Mrs. Bob Dole; the official ambassador for the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act, attending press conferences with both Congressman Walter Jones (R) of North Carolina and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) of Connecticut. Rambo is currently the mascot for Gizmo’s Gift, a Texas nonprofit that offers financial support to families who adopt a retired working dog.
Rambo is able to connect with children and adults of all ages and capacities. While visiting local nursing homes he is able to bring love and life to the residents who suffer with dementia. He visits youth groups during the summer, and brings hope to children with special needs.
Rambo is a hero who is able to cross many lines and bring unity to animal welfare, human rights, and military and veteran groups, all because of his loving personality. By winning this award he can continue breaking down boundaries, and help bring awareness to Gizmo’s Gift and their supported heroes.”

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[learn_more caption=”Therapy Dogs”]

Hudson the Railroad Puppy

Charity Partner: Hand in Paw

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Hudson“Hudson and two siblings at just three weeks old were found nailed to the railroad tracks in Albany, NY. Hudson’s paw was cut off. After lifesaving treatment for Hudson and Pearl (sadly, Carina did not make it), they became known as the “Railroad Puppies.” After several surgeries it was decided that Hudson was a great candidate for a prosthetic limb. Hudson became one of the first dogs in New York to be fitted with a prosthetic paw. (Google “The Railroad Puppies” and you can read the entire story). After Hudson adopted us I knew he was special and could do great things and spread awareness about animal cruelty. I got him in training with the goal that Hudson and me would become a therapy dog team. We DID!!! We visit schools, hospitals, adult day care facilities and we are now also hospice volunteers visiting with patients and their families. We try to teach the children and everyone we meet that just because you’re different, you are still special in your own “Wooftastic” way. Hudson brings smiles to everyone he meets. I believe in my heart Hudson deserves this award for not only overcoming adversity but for the love and joy he brings to others. Hudson the Railroad Puppy is changing hearts and minds about the pit bull breeds one at a time. Thank you for your consideration for this prestigious award. <3! Woof!! <3!!!”

 

Parker

Charity Partner: Pet Partners

Parker - parker“You have very aggressive cancer.” Those are words you never want to hear. Will we be planning a funeral? How will we get through this?

Enter Parker, a new furry family member. Smart, mellow, eager to please.

Now eight years cancer-free, Dan McFarling and his four-legged partner visit hospitals, spreading hope to those facing similar diagnoses.

Parker began life as an animal actor/model, but with his amazing disposition his family knew he was destined for something bigger. His true calling is providing comfort to those who need it at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital & other hospitals in Portland. He calms nerves when a child is undergoing treatment that involves fear or pain. He offers a nuzzle for someone undergoing radiation/chemotherapy. His non-judgmental eyes garner confidence as children read to him at the library. Parker spends time working with charitable organizations to raise awareness about cancer. He wears a vest with over 2,500 names of cancer patients, and has walked all over the West Coast for a cure.

In 2013 Parker was cast as Sandy in a live theater production of ANNIE. Tragedy struck when one of the ‘orphans’ and her sister went to heaven after a hit and run. Parker’s role went from playing Annie’s lovable mutt to resident therapy dog, providing comfort to the cast, crew, and the parents of Abby and Anna.

Parker does so much to give back, provide hope, and spread love — all with a Golden Retriever smile and an understanding thump of the tail.”

 

Mango

Charity Partner: Hand in Paw

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Mango“Mango is a three-year-old rescue that is paralyzed and registered as a certified therapy dog. She takes her mission to our veterans, retired and serving that suffer from physical and emotional disabilities. Mango uses a wheelchair full time because of her rear paralyzation. When she rolls into a room to meet disabled veterans they see a small dog that uses wheels instead of legs and yet she is happy and never thinks of herself as handicapped. Mango helps our veterans realize that they are special and not disabled. The emotional healing Mango brings to our soldiers is immediate. They relate to Mango and Mango seems to understand them. Her Facebook page is called “Mango on a Mission” and her mission has been very successful.

Mango also created Mango’s Freedom Wheels in November, 2014. Because of Mango’s paralyzation and her use of a wheelcart she understands how important mobility is to a dog or cat. Through generous donations she has purchased and provided over 25 dogs and cats custom wheelcarts that they financially couldn’t afford. Teaming up with Ruff Rollin Wheelchairs in Montana, Mango puts the disabled in their own custom made wheelcarts. Her goal was 12 carts a year but she has far exceeded that within the three months Mango’s Freedom Wheels was created.

Her mission with our veterans and her ability to provide disabled animals with wheelcarts is nothing short of heroic. Mango is a hero to many and deserves this award.”

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[learn_more caption=”Service Dogs”]

 Axel

Charity Partner: Dogs on Deployment

2015 Hero Dog Awards - AxelIf servicemen have the hardest jobs in the world, service dogs have the second hardest.

My name is Captain Jason Haag (USMC, Ret.) and five years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD and traumatic brain injury after returning from two combat tours in the Middle East. When I finally made it home, I was in a constant state of severe depression and mental agony. I struggled with alcohol abuse and took more than 30 medications to deal with my debilitating symptoms.

In 2012, my wife urged me to reach out to K9s for Warriors, an organization that provides veterans with service canines. That’s how I met my lifesaver, a German Shepherd named Axel.

In combat, every soldier is paired up with a battle buddy. These days, my battle buddy isn’t another Marine. It’s Axel. Day in and day out, he’s by my side, ensuring that I’m in a constant state of peace and not fear. Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge from Axel to remind me that I’m out of the combat zone. Other times, Axel goes into full activation mode, using his training to remove me from an environment when a severe panic attack has begun.

When I met Axel, he was one week away from being put down, sleeping on a shelter floor. And I was sleeping in my basement with a gun under my pillow. Now I share a bed with a big and furry security blanket. And he’s a heck of a lot softer.”

Midas

Charity Partner: Dogs on Deployment

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Midas“Midas came into my life when I needed him the most, after a tough deployment to Afghanistan. Afghanistan had been my last deployment, and I had been diagnosed with PTSD several times before. At only 11 weeks old Midas started trying to wake me up from nightmares, and started trying to mitigate my disability. Because of Midas my transition from military to civilian has been smoother, and having him by my side in school has given me the motivation I needed to excel academically. After watching Midas interact with other veterans and the effect he had on them, it gave me the inspiration I needed to help other veterans who were in similar situations. Together with Dogs on Deployment we work tirelessly to stop veterans suicide, as well as inspire veterans to use the tools they learned in the military to achieve their dreams.”

Jackson

Charity Partner: Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence (ADAI)
2015 Hero Dog Awards - Jackson“Jackson, the service dog is a mobility service dog. I obtained him through Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence (ADAI) in Sylvania, Ohio on August 15, 2013. I have Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, and an anxiety disorder. Before Parkinson’s I was active as a full-time service director for a major airline at Detroit Metro Airport. My health deteriorated, and I went from doctor to doctor trying to diagnose what was wrong with me. I was dragging my leg, had twitching legs, fingers and eyes. I thought I was going to die. Finally, after another referral, I was diagnosed and had to retire. I’m the type of person who runs into a fire to help. Now I needed help, and nobody would help when I fall. People thought I was drunk. Then I discovered ADAI, and finally someone understood! After a year on a wait list, I was matched with a Smooth Collie named Jackson. With the help of Jackson and ADAI my life changed. Jackson helps me balance and counterbalance. He picks up things I drop, takes my coat off, brings me my shoes, covers me up, gets help, and makes me laugh. ADAI and Jackson have given me my independence and confidence back. He is my miracle. My husband doesn’t have to worry about me while he’s working. I feel blessed and grateful for all who played a part in me being teamed up with Jackson.”

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[learn_more caption=”Arson Dogs”]

Judge

Charity Partner: Project Paws Alive, Inc.

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Judge“Allentown Fire Department Arson K9, Judge is a six-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever that has been in service since early 2011. I met Judge for the first time in the spring class of 2011 and we have been partners ever since. He is a tad more vocal than the other dogs in his class but I attribute it to his outgoing personality and drive to work!
I call Judge a triple threat (Investigator/Deterrent/Educator). As an investigator, Judge has worked over 200 fire scenes and during that time, evidence he has found has led to criminal arrests and civil penalties in many insurance fraud cases. As a deterrent, the numbers speak for themselves. The number of arson fires has dropped nearly 50 percent since Judge has been in service! For example, while doing an investigation for a bordering community, word got out that Judge was on the scene and he may have found something. While the investigator was getting ready to take samples, several juveniles came back to the scene to confess to starting the fire because they knew that if Judge found something it was just a matter of time before they were caught. They were fined and they paid restitution. As an educator, Judge has done over 400 fire safety programs and demonstrations from crime watch groups and dog shows to elementary school programs and everything in between. He has been instrumental in making the entire Lehigh Valley more aware about fire safety.”

 

Glory

Charity Partner: Project Paws Alive, Inc.

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Glory Lab“Glory is a certified accelerant detection canine. She is trained to sniff out minute traces of hydrocarbon based accelerants which helps combat the growing problem of intentionally set fires. While the team does the majority of their work around their home base in Beloit, Wisconsin, it’s not uncommon for them to be called to investigate a fire anywhere within the state as well as neighboring states. As a nationally certified team, they are called to assist anywhere the need arises.

With the assistance of Glory’s keen sense of smell, her handler can confirm or rule out the possibility of arson within a matter of minutes. Without canine assistance, finding a cause could take weeks with multiple investigators sifting through the debris.

Glory’s keen senses go far beyond detecting accelerants. Firefighters and paramedics deal with situations that affect them emotionally. Glory has the ability to sense who is having a rough day and will spend time with them, which helps relieve that stress.

Public education is a substantial part of Glory’s job. Glory and her handler visit schools, clubs, and organizations, talking about fire safety, fire prevention and arson awareness. While public awareness is key to combating the growing problem of intentionally set fires, the team emphasizes the importance of creating and regularly practicing a plan to get out of the home safely. Fires are not selective nor do they wait for fire prevention week. Likewise, this team makes sure the message does not wait.”

 

Spring

Charity Partner: FireK9.org

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Spring“Spring is one of the most incredible dogs I have ever seen. She began her career as a seeing eye dog then transitioned and changed careers to become an accelerant K9. Investigator David Zehring and Spring are an integral part of our department and add a level of professionalism to our investigations division that is unmatched. David and Spring have been called out to assist with arson investigations all over the valley and everyone who gets the opportunity to watch them operate as a team is thoroughly impressed. I can say without any doubt that watching Spring work is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. Her accelerant detection ability is jaw dropping and truly shows how powerful the canine nose is. I have watched people deny they had any involvement with the fire only to have them reduced to tears and change their story after Spring arrives and goes to work. The other side of Spring is the impact she has made on our Fire Education programs. Watching Spring interact at a school on a fire education demonstration and interact with the kids has been a huge advantage to us in being able to get out our safety message. She always attracts a crowd, and then after meeting Spring, we’re able to get out a safety message to the audience. I am proud to call Spring a member of the Gilbert Fire & Rescue Department.”

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[learn_more caption=”Law Enforcement Dogs”]

Fox

Charity Partner: K9s4COPS

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Fox“Meet K9 Fox, a hero dog in every sense of the term. K9 Fox served three years protecting and defending soldiers and civilians in the war in Afghanistan. Once the war came to a close, he was returned to the U.S. and was recommissioned as a police K9 by AMK9 and donated to the Hollywood Police Department by K9s4cops. K9 Fox has only been a police K9 for a short time but he has already made a huge impact on our police department. Fox loves everything about what he does: whether it’s chasing the bad guys or sniffing out drugs there is nothing this K9 will not do. Considering his service to the American people in the war in Afghanistan and his continued service protecting the streets on our homelands, I believe K9 Fox is the perfect candidate for this title. I cannot think of any better way for this country to honor him for his continued dedication. Thank you!”

 

Hero

Charity Partner: K9s4COPS

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Hero“K9 “Hero” finds missing three year-old.

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. A child goes missing for no apparent reason. In an instant, fear turns smiles and happiness into panic and despair.

In the case of a three-year-old boy who wandered off into the woods following a stray puppy, the outcome could have been much worse without the search and rescue effort of a Connecticut State Police K9 appropriately named Hero.

After searching the area for more than two hours with friends, neighbors and local police officers, Connecticut State Police K9, Hero was called into action with his handler Trooper Mike Zella.

Hero was given a scent article by the missing boy’s mother and Trooper Zella sent Hero on a search of the deep woods. Hero carefully worked through the area previously contaminated by the well-intentioned human search party seeking the boy’s scent. Following his training and his nose, Hero quickly located the boy wandering another trail around a pond.

Trooper Zella said, “Without Hero, the outcome could have been much worse. Hero is a godsend and has not only assisted me in finding missing people, he also excels at apprehending criminals.” Appropriately named at birth by his breeder, the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Hero was provided to the Connecticut State Police.”

 

Dax

Charity Partner: K9s4COPS

2015 Hero Dog Awards - Dax“I, Officer Chris Alberini work with my K9, Dax, He saved me from being shot when he climbed into an attic where a suspect was hiding with a shotgun. If Dax hadn’t been there, I’d be dead. On July 2, 2013 I was called to assist in the search for the suspect, who had a suspended driver’s license and an active arrest warrant. I called into the house the suspect had entered and told him to come out or I would send in Dax. When no one responded, Dax and I started to search the house. Dax found a ceiling hatch leading to an attic and alerted me. I yelled up to the suspect to come down. The man did not respond. I hoisted Dax into the attic, where he bit the suspect’s leg. I followed, carrying a flashlight and found Dax fighting with the suspect. That’s when the man started reaching for a shotgun from his left side. I tried fighting for the weapon and drew my service weapon and shot him twice. The man would have likely fired at me immediately if Dax hadn’t gone into the attic first. The suspect’s shotgun was loaded with five rounds of ammunition. He was waiting in the attic for the police officer to turn a flashlight on him and he was going to shoot. Investigators later learned that the suspect had texted his attorney and girlfriend about killing police. We all owe our lives to this brave K9.”

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