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Hero Dog Awards, Part 1

Recon - Service.jpg
American Humane Association
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Recon - Service Dog

Every year, the American Humane Association searches for America’s top hero dogs.  Thousands of votes were cast online, narrowing the field down to just seven finalists, each a separate category. For the next few weeks, I’ll highlight these seven extraordinary canines.  And once again you will have the opportunity vote online for your favorite to be named Hero Dog of the Year. 

     Let’s begin with Recon, a yellow Labrador Retriever nominated in the Service Dog category.  His human, a search and recovery diver and bomb squad technician suffers from Traumatic Brain Injury caused by repeated concussions from exploding bombs.  Recon is his helper and lifeline that helps him make it through every day.

     Keb is another yellow Lab, nominated in the Search and Rescue Category.  This twelve-year-old dog has a long history of finding missing persons   He is even the subject of a book, “A Dog’s Devotion” to be published later this year, that details his work in Washington state after a massive landslide eight years ago.

K-9 Riggs a 2-year-old Belgian Melanois, is nominated in the Law Enforcement and Detection category.  Last Fall, he stopped a fleeing homicide suspect, who shot the dog the head – but miraculously K9 Riggs survived.  After two days in a veterinary hospital he was released, recovered and is back on duty.  He has already received the Silver Star and the Purple heart for his bravery, and now the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department would like to see him named Hero Dog of the Year.

For more information about the Hero Dog Awards, and the seven finalists competing for this year’s top spot, visit the website at HeroDogAwards.org.  While you’re there, cast your vote for the one you think should be America’s next Hero Dog.  It’s a great way to celebrate these special animals who make our lives better in so many ways, when you’re speaking of pets.

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Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.