Animals have always been a part of my life – I grew up always having a cat nearby.
They bring a sense of calm and affection into life; they can also save a life!
Invited to the 48th annual Purina Animal Hall of Fame Awards, I was able to hear five incredible life-saving stories where the hero was the family pet.
Hosted at Toronto’s Purina Paws Way building along the waterfront, this building houses the Hall of Fame, which to date includes 172 animal inductees – 144 dogs, 27 cats and one horse.
Meet Zola – a 7-year-old Labradoodle from Toronto.
When her owner, Mathew, had a massive heart attack at their home, she alerted Mathew’s wife, through uncharacteristic howling and aggressive barking, and they were able to save his life.
Meet Rex – a 9-year-old Alaskan Malamute German Shepard Cross from Aberdeen, Saskatchewan.
While most of the family was out celebrating the Christmas holidays, Grandma Noreen stayed home as she was battling a bad flu. Falling deep asleep on the couch, the home started on fire – Rex pulled her off the couch and dragged her to the front door to safety.
Meet Raya – a 4-year-old Labrador Retriever Norwegian Elkhound cross from Fort St. John, BC.
Her owner, Brent went elk hunting with his mom, Trudy, when a sow bear attacked and charged Brent. Raya ran in-between the bear and Brent, barking and growling until the bear backed off. This happened three times before they were able to safely get back to their truck.
Meet Lonca – a 2-year-old German Sheppard, Police Dog from Toronto.
Toronto Police Service executed a search warrant and were preparing to enter the home’s front door, when Lonca saw a suspect fleeing from the back. Given the command to chase the suspect, Lonca brought him to the ground. The suspect had a machete and started to brutally attack the Police dog. Lonca never let go and has since made a full recovery from her vicious wounds.
Due to her act of bravery and service, Quanto’s Law was enacted – a law holding offenders fully accountable when they attack and injure service, military and enforcement animals. Quanto was an Edmonton Police dog who was stabbed to death while apprehending a suspect.
And finally – meet Shadow – a 6-year-old Golden Retriever from Port Alberni, BC.
Shadow is the recipient of a brand new award called the ‘Purina Better Together’ award.
Without Shadow, her owner Kayla wouldn’t be able to live a productive and self-sufficient life. Suffering from epilepsy caused by a brain tumor, Shadow has helped Kayla gain back her independence.
Throughout the year, Purina gathers nominations from across the country.
M Fab SobbingWhileHuggingAllAnimals
*Thank you to Environics for their photography…as mine was terrible. Moving animals are very hard to capture!