2020 Hero Dog of the Year!

Oct 24, 2020

Little Mackenzie - big winner and America's Hero Dog!
Credit American Humane Association

Mackenzie had a rough start in life, but she also had lots of tender loving care.  Even though she may not be able to bark, her actions speak volumes as she helps to care for other animals with disabilities that are in desperate need of a hero - like Mackenzie!


A couple of months ago I highlighted the seven finalists for the American Humane Association’s 2020 Hero Dog Award. “Dolly Pawton” was nominated in the Service Dog Category; “K-9 Cody” represented the Law Enforcement/Arson category; “Olive” is a Therapy Dog; “Blue II P491” is a Military Dog; “Aura” is a Hearing Dog; “Remington” represents the Search and Rescue Dog category; and “Mackenzie" was nominated in the Shelter Dog category. These seven finalists all made unique contributions to their people.

More than one million votes were cast online, and this week the Hallmark Channel broadcast the star-studded awards ceremony to announce the winner of the Hero Dog Award for 2020. And the winner is – “Mackenzie”, the Shelter Dog!

The Mia Foundation rescues animals with birth defects. Sue Rogers, who runs the Mia Foundation, took Mackenzie in when she was just one day old. Born with a cleft palate, she had to be tube-fed and survived several lung infections. When she was a year old, Mackenzie had life-saving surgery to correct her cleft palate. For the first time she could eat and drink on her own.

This little Chihuahua may be small (at just four pounds) but she has a huge heart. MacKenzie (or “Kenz” to her human friends) instinctively became a little momma to other baby animals with birth defects that might otherwise be euthanized. Regardless of their size or even species, “Kenz” taught them how to socialize, and play, and accept the needed care and attention from human caregivers. She began as a rescue dog, but in turn she has helped to rescue hundreds of other animals. Learn more about MacKenzie (and the Mia Foundation) by visiting their Facebook page – search “Love For Mia”.

If you missed the Hero Dog Awards Show, you can watch it for free on the Hallmark Channel's website.

This year the American Humane Association celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Hero Dog Awards - ten years of inspiring stories to remind us that every dog has its own story. It’s up to us to listen and learn, whenever we’re speaking of pets.