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Hero Dog Awards, Part 2

Ethan - Shelter.jpeg
American Humane Association
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Hero Dog Awards
Ethan - Shelter Dog

Last week I talked about three of the seven finalists for this year’s American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.  “Recon” is nominated in the Service Dog category, “Keb” is a Search and Rescue dog, and “K-9 Riggs” represents the Law Enforcement and Detection category. 

     Another finalist, Kinley, a yellow Lab, is a Guide dog.  His owner and handler is Chloe, a young woman who had just applied for her first guide dog when she was brutally attacked and ended up in the hospital.  At her lowest point, she got the welcome news that she would receive a dog.  Kinley has proven to be more than just a service animal to Chloe.  He is her comforter, companion, and friend, giving Chloe the courage to face the world as long as Kinley is by her side.

     Ethan is mixed breed dog that resembles a Bull Terrier, but two years ago he was dying, abandoned in the parking lot of the Kentucky Humane Society, unable to walk, eat, drink or even lift his head without help.  He should have weighed eighty pounds, but instead he weighed less than forty.  Thanks to emergency veterinary care and his own determination, he miraculously survived, and was adopted by Jeff. a humane society employee.  Now Ethan goes to work at the shelter with Jeff every day, offering emotional support to rescued animals dealing with medical issues.  It is his way of paying it forward.  His story also inspires humans to overcome difficulties in their own lives.  This once-abused animal is now a happy and healthy dog that brings happiness to people and animals.  You can keep up with him on his Facebook page, “EthanAlmighty”!

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.