Susie, the abused North Carolina dog who inspired a law, a movie, and a nonprofit organization, has been named the American Humane Association’s 2014 American Hero Dog.
Susie, found with burns over most of her body in 2009, received a standing ovation at the AHA‘s black-tie awards gala Saturday night in Beverly Hills, where she was one of eight finalists competing for the prize.
“I’m just blown away,” Donna Lawrence told TODAY.com after learning her dog had won. “There were so many amazing dogs with great stories. When they called Susie, I just wanted to cry.”
In 2009, Susie was found with severe second and third-degree burns over most of her body in Greenfield Park in south Greensboro. Her ears were burned off and she had a broken jaw and teeth. She was taken to the Guilford County Animal Shelter and eventually nursed back to health.
She was adopted by Donna and Roy Lawrence — just 10 months after Donna was attacked while trying to help a neglected pit bull that had spent much of its life tied to a tree in her neighbor’s yard in High Point, North Carolina.
When the man who was convicted of setting Susie on fire was sentenced to probation, outraged dog lovers launched a campaign for tougher penalties for animal cruelty and abuse.
“Susie’s Law,” which made animal cruelty a felony in North Carolina, went into effect in 2010, signed by then-governor Bev Perdue.
Donna Lawrence went on to establish Susie’s Hope, a nonprofit organization that fosters awareness of animal abuse. In 2013, the story was made into a movie, also called “Susie’s Hope.”
Susie is now a certified therapy dog and visits schools, hospitals and churches to bring messages of kindness, respect and responsibility to children and adults.
Other finalists in the Hero Dog Awards, included:
Bretagne, one of the last known surviving search dogs who worked at Ground Zero in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
Kai, an arson dog who has worked more than 200 fire investigations in San Antonio
JJ, a little dog with a powerful nose that can detect when his human, ther a girl named KK Krawczyk, is about to have a life-threatening reaction due to a rare illness
Kota, a law-enforcement K9 who sustained multiple fractures while responding to a burglary in progress but who kept trying to help his police officer partner apprehend a suspect
Xena the Warrior Puppy, a dog rescued from extreme abuse who went on to help a little boy with autism in profound ways
Chaney, a military dog who served multiple tours sniffing out explosives in Iraq and Afghanistan
Xxon, a guide dog who helped an Air Force sergeant continue to serve active duty and regain independence after being blinded by explosives in Afghanistan.
The Hallmark Channel will air the awards show on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time).
(Photo: American Humane Association)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 29th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, aha, american hero dog, american humane association, animals, awards, ceremony, cruelty, dogs, donna lawrence, greensboro, honor, north carolina, pets, pit bulls, susie, susie's law, susies hope, winner
Among the traditional perks of winning Westminster’s Best in Show are a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and going to Sardi’s in Manhattan for a steak.
You’d think that last one, at least, would appeal to the average dog — and especially to the pampered pooches that strut before the judges every year at the Westminster Dog Show.
But Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound chosen as Best in Show this week, had virtually no interest in the juicy filet, prepared medium rare, sliced into bite-sized chunks and placed in front of her at Sardi’s. She took only a taste or two before ignoring it entirely.
As her trainer pointed out, there were lots of lights, and hordes of media, and Hickory’s never been real big on steak in the first place.
You could view it as a photo op turned photo flop, but I kind of like the fact that she turned up her scruffy nose at the offering.
In light of all the human control inflicted on dogs during dogs shows, not to mention throughout history, I like seeing, for some reason, a little canine independence and rebelliousness exhibited in that setting. Of course, I don’t know what Hickory was thinking when that juicy red meat was set before her, but I like to think it was this:
Two hundred people have gathered, pulled up in their news vans, and started their cameras rolling, and are lined up outside – all to watch me eat a steak? OK, then, I’m not going to do it.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american kennel club, animals, best in show, dog show, empire state building, hickory, new york stock exchange, nyse, perks, pets, purebreds, sardis, scottish deerhound, westminster, westminster dog show, winner
Alaskan musher Lance Mackey has won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and set an Iditarod record for most consecutive wins.
Mackey, 39, of Fairbanks, completed the 1,049-mile Iditarod race in just under nine days. He was cheered across the finish line in Nome by family and friends, including his father, Dick Mackey, the 1978 Iditarod champion, CNN reported.
“You’ve done something that will never be repeated, son,” the senior Mackey said, hugging his son at the finish line.
Mackey could be heard on the broadcast microphones speaking to his dog team just before reaching the finish line on Nome’s Front Street, “Nice, nice. This is so cool. We’re almost there, guys. You did such a good job.”
Arriving in Nome at 2:59 p.m. local time, Mackey’s official time was 8 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 9 seconds.
Mackey, a throat cancer survivor who says he began racing “at birth,” was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in February “for capturing multiple titles in two of the world’s longest sled dog races.”
More than 54 teams remained on the Iditarod trail headed toward Nome, including rookie Jamaican musher Newton Marshall, who was in 48th place. Marshall trained with Mackey this season in preparation for his first Iditarod run.
Fourteen of the original 71 teams that entered this year’s race have scratched en route.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaska, consecutive, dick mackey, dog, dogs, fourth, iditarod, lance mackey, musher, mushing, news, nome, race, record, sled, sports, trail, winner, wins
So here’s a look at some of the ugly also-rans from the annual contest, part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.
OPIE — One of five Chinese Cresteds in this year’s competition, Opie, 10, was found by a good samaritan and taken to an emergency veterinary clinic for help. He had a large ulcerated mass on his side that the rescue center that later took him in had removed. It was cancer. The skin on his body was covered with sores, abrasions and dried blood. Half of his lower jaw was missing. He has only one tooth. The rescue center named him Ooglee, but his new owner thinking “he should have a nice little boy’s name,” changed it to Opie. “We are so happy that we adopted this little dog. He is the kindest, sweetest, most gentle dog I have ever known,” wrote his owner, who prepares Opie’s meals in a food processor. “He entered this contest and is going to Petaluma to show everyone that old dogs and dogs with disabilites can be great pets!”
MOJO — The only Shar-Pei in this year’s ugly dog contest, Mojo has a face only a mother could love, says her mother, “and I absolutely adore her.”
“Despite her appearance, she is the sweetest, most lovable dog you could wish for. She always causes a stir wherever we go,” her owner added.
” We do everything together, she is the love of my life and makes me look good.”
RASCAL — Rascal, the 2002 World’s Ugliest Dog winner, is owned by actor, Dane Andrew of Sunnyvale, Ca. Naturally hairless and weighing seven pounds, he sports what his owner describes as “Einstein hair, crooked face and a tongue that hangs out due to being born without many teeth.” Rascal has had roles in a few horror films, coming out soon, and has a cartoon strip and documentary soon to debut, both named “The Ugliest Dog.” Rascal uses his ugly for good, his owner said, and will soon be coming out with a “patented trademark hot dog leash,” proceeds from the sale of which will go towards animal charities.
ARF –Arf, 12, was rescued as a puppy from a pound where he was on death row. Through his life, he has faced many battles, his owner says — dermatological problems, a disfigured front paw and eventually the loss of his back leg.
“Although his hair is sparse, and he puzzles people he meets, this three-legged dog continues to walk in pride with a sparkle in his eyes and a wag in his tail.”
To see all of the entrants and learn more about the contest, click here.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arf, california, chinese crested, contest, dog, dogs, fair, handicapped, loser, marin, mojo, ohmidog!, old, opie, pabst, petaluma, rascal, rescue, shar-pei, sharpei, shelter, sick, sonoma, title, ugliest, ugly, winner, world's ugliest dog
The Humane Society of the United States has announced the 15 finalists in the Second Annual Dogs of Valor Awards, sponsored by PetPlan Pet Insurance. The awards honor dogs that have exhibited extraordinary courage.
The People’s Hero winner, chosen by online voting (it ends at 5 p.m. today), and the Valor Dog of the Year, chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, will be announced May 17.
Here are the contenders:
Aubrey (Millbury, Mass.) – Led owner from a running trail to a man who was lying unconscious on an overgrown path.
Baby C. (Albuquerque, N.M.) – Found help when owner’s SUV plummeted 20 feet off the side of a mountain and wedged upside down between two trees.
Baby W. (Charleston, W.Va.) – Awakened owner as a fire spread from the garage, eventually causing their car to explode and destroying their home.
Boo (renamed “Hero”) (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) – Barked to get attention and led police to his owner who had been knocked unconscious after falling between two isolated buildings.
Buster (Clarkridge, Ark.) – Alerted owner and led him to his wife who had collapsed and was unable to move after a severe stroke.
Butch (Poplar Bluff, Mo.) – Ran down to the basement, a place he greatly feared, and woke his owner’s son as a fire quickly spread.
Charley (Loganville, Ga.) – Begged to go outside and then led owner several houses down where a man had fallen off a ladder.
D-boy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) – Shot three times as he charged towards an armed man who had broken into his home.
Hank (Dublin, Ga.) – Roused his owner and helped him to his feet after a tractor ran over him, causing massive internal injuries.
Jake (Omaha, Neb.) – Pulled a boy to safety when he was swept away and pulled underwater by currents in the Platte River.
Julian (Reading, Pa.) – Barked until he got his owner’s attention, leading the man to find his wife in a diabetic coma.
Laney (Portage, Ind.) – Bit the foot of a boy to wake him and his two friends as fire spread throughout the house.
Piper (Garland, Texas) – Pawed at and roused her owner as she struggled to breathe during an asthma attack.
Tripod (Batesville, Ark.) – Awakened her owners as a fire spread through the home, igniting their bedding.
Tyson (Stuart, Fla.) – Barked and pawed at pool’s surface, alerting owners that their infant nephew was floating in the water.
Their complete stories can be viewed here.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: annual, bravery, canine, courage, dog, dogs, finalists, hero, heroes, hsus, humane society of the united states, online, online voting, people's hero, petplan pet insurance, second, valor dog of the year, vote, winner
If you own the dog in the ohmidog! “O,” submit a comment on this entry and you’ll win a free FURminator.
And right about the time you really need one. Shedding season is upon us, and this tool will not only keep your home more fur-free; it will make your dog cooler by thinning out the undercoat he or she really won’t be needing in the months ahead.
The pooch above was one of several whose owners opted to have their dogs photographed in the “O,” at the ohmidog! booth in exchange for a contribution to the Maryland SPCA during the March for the Animals earlier this month.
One more dog will be featured in the “O” later this week, with another free FURminator to be awarded — assuming that person sees the entry and leaves a comment.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: announce, award, booth, contest, deshedding, free, furminator, March for the Animals, maryland spca, ohmidog!, prize, winner
Lance Mackey crossed the finish line of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at 11:38 a.m. today (Alaska time) to capture his third straight victory in the 1,100-mile race, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
“It’s done,” he said. “It’s amazing, absolutely amazing.”
The race was marred by the deaths of two more dogs. In addition to a dog on musher Jeff Holt’s team that died last week, two dogs on the team of rookie Lou Packer of Wasilla apparently froze to death. Packer scratched after being found Monday 22 miles past the Iditarod checkpoint by searchers in a plane.
Mackey became the third musher to win three Iditarods in a row, joining Montanan Doug Swingley and the late Susan Butcher.
Mackey had a huge lead after leaving White Mountain, 77 miles from the finish line in Nome. In White Mountain, he received a hug of congratulations from his mother, and turned to his dogs, according to the Associated Press.
“They’re superstars,” he told her.
Only Sebastian Schnuelle and John Baker were anywhere close to Mackey, but they were still hours behind Mackey, ahead of a storm that trapped other mushers farther back on the trail.
Thirteen mushers, including four-time champions Jeff King and Martin Buser, were holed up at the checkpoint in Shaktoolik, stopped by 40 mile-per-hour winds and a wind chill driving temperatures to more than 50 below. Temperatures were expected to be even colder Tuesday night.
Sixty-seven teams began the race more than a week ago in Willow, about 50 miles north of Anchorage. Nine teams have either scratched or been withdrawn.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaska, doug swingley, finish line, iditarod, lance mackey, nome, race, sled dog, susan butcher, third, three, winner, wins