These Dogs Were Awarded for Their Brave Deeds
Brutis, a Golden Retriever, became a hero in 2004 when he fiercely grabbed a snake approaching a child. He saved the child from danger but was bitten by the snake, risking his own life. Brutis gained fame and was quickly flown to Los Angeles to receive the National Hero Dog Award. The award committee stated, “When we give out an award like this, we’re looking for something exceptional, something that makes people wonder why a dog would do that?”
Proving that small dogs can have big hearts, Zoey, a 5-pound Chihuahua from Colorado, made headlines in 2007 for saving a one-year-old child from a rattlesnake. Zoey sustained a minor injury from the snake bite but recovered quickly. Ultimately, the venomous snake was killed by Zoey’s owner.
Hurricane Katrina brought immense suffering to the Southern United States, but stories of heroism like Katrina the dog’s provided a glimmer of hope. She saved a man from drowning before the floodwaters rose too high. Afterwards, Katrina was rescued by relief teams and honored at that year’s Genesis Awards.
Featured in a Fox News story titled “Wolf-Dog Hybrid Becomes Hero Saving Owners from Snowstorm,” viewers learned about “Hero Shana.” This German Shepherd-Wolf mix saved an elderly couple from a dangerous snowstorm by digging a tunnel through the snow to bring them safely back to their home.
Maya, the recipient of the 2008 Dog of the Year award, earned her title by bravely saving her owner, Angela Marcelino, from an attacker. The pitbull’s action received praise from the Animal Miracle Foundation, with reports stating, “Pitbull breeds can be heroes just like any other breed.”
Motti, a 5-year-old German Shepherd, won the 2007 Dog of the Year award for taking a bullet for his owner. When a masked intruder broke into the Patel family home, Motti leaped onto a table and barked to draw the gunman’s attention. Facing the angry dog, the gunman shot and ran away, leaving the family unharmed.
Honey won the 2006 Dog of the Year award for saving her owner from a horrific car accident. When Honey and Michael Bosch were in an accident that left the car trapped in a deep ravine, Bosch, stuck and injured, knew Honey was his only hope. He managed to release Honey, hoping she would somehow find help. The 5-month-old English Cocker Spaniel was discovered by a passerby and led them to Bosch. Rescuers concluded that without Honey, Bosch might have died.
Proving that cats and dogs aren’t always enemies, Napoleon, an English Bulldog, used his poor swimming skills to rescue a bag containing six abandoned kittens from a lake. Two kittens were already dead, but the four survivors were nursed back to health, making Napoleon a hero.
In a truly touching story, Hero, a 4-year-old Golden Retriever, saved a paralyzed man stuck in a muddy field. When Gareth Jones found himself unable to move, he threw a leash to Hero, who then pulled him up. Jones said, “The dog didn’t let go until I was up on the bank. He knew exactly what to do.”
In a scene reminiscent of action movies, Kathie learned the hard way when Eve, her dog, grabbed her by the ankle and slowly dragged her from a burning truck. Eve then pulled her to a nearby ditch, just far enough to avoid the explosion. After the fire was cleared, Eve received the Stillman Award for her bravery.
Ginny, a traitor to her kind or a hero? She saved over 300 cats from danger. Ginny put herself between construction pipes to allow trapped cats to escape. Moreover, her nails were scratched from trying to rescue an injured cat from the rubble.
Trakr became famous for rescue operations. Alongside police officer James Symington, Trakr dug through over 90 meters of rubble in a city center to rescue the last survivor. The dog’s bravery was lauded and became an example for the police to continue training dogs like him.
Shelby, a Skippy breed dog, won the 45th Dog of the Year award by saving two adults and two children from carbon monoxide poisoning. With her sensitive hearing, Shelby detected rising CO levels while the family was asleep. She woke them up and kept barking until they were safely outside. Thankfully, the family members were timely taken to the hospital. Joleen Walderbach said, “In my eyes and my family’s, Shelby is more than a hero, she’s a guardian and an angel at our doorstep.”
This police dog from Lakewood, Colorado, made front-page news in 2002 for chasing a 20-year-old robber despite being shot. Daren Mauer, the accompanying officer, said the bullet in Rocky’s leg didn’t stop him.
Many wouldn’t dare face a crocodile, but that’s exactly what Blue did, earning the 2001 Dog of the Year award. This Australian Blue Heeler dog saved its 85-year-old owner, Ruth Gay, from a crocodile bite. Gay fell into the water during a walk with Blue. When a crocodile neared and was about to attack, Blue barked and scared it away, ensuring both returned home safely.
Coming in second in the 2001 Dog of the Year awards was Patty, a Golden Retriever who saved her owner from drowning. After Ray Fogg’s boat capsized and sank, Patty swam to him and offered her tail for him to hold onto. The dog swam fiercely against the strong current. They reached the nearest shore and were taken home by rescue teams.
Neo, an 11-month-old Siberian hunting dog, became a hero by saving his owner, Marci Snead. When Snead, who suffers from diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, went into shock due to low blood sugar, Neo ran to the nearest building. There, he barked to attract attention and then led them to where Snead was lying. An ambulance soon arrived to take her to the hospital, and Snead eventually fully recovered.
This dog saved his owner’s family from armed pirates. When Peter Lee realized his boat was being hijacked, Kankuntu jumped in and attacked the gunmen, one of whom shot him in the shoulder. The family stood firm and drove the pirates away. Thankfully, Kankuntu was timely treated and fully recovered.
Junior, a 14-month-old Shihtzu, may be small in name, but his efforts were anything but. A fire broke out in the Davilmar family’s apartment at midnight, and the dog barked until everyone woke up and left the house.
Belle became known through a news story titled “Dog Saves Owner by Dialing Emergency Number.” This small hunting dog pressed “911” on Kevin’s phone after he fell due to diabetes. Kevin said, “Without Belle, I would have died.”
a Golden Retriever, saved his owner Debbie Parkhurst from choking on an apple. Seeing her in distress, the dog jumped onto her chest, attempting to loosen her throat. Toby received the 2007 Dog of the Year award and was featured by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Nyla bravely saved her owner from a fierce fire. When Sheila was amidst the flames, unable to see anything, Nyla courageously jumped through the fire and broke down the door, continuously barking to guide Sheila. Sheila was then taken to safety. She said, “Nyla could have escaped at any time, but she chose to stay and risk her life to help me escape death.”
On September 11, at the World Trade Center’s 78th floor, this brave Golden Retriever saved Michael Hingson’s life. As the building shook and filled with smoke, Roselle guided Michael to safety, leading him through the office to the stairs. It wasn’t easy for either, but they managed and reached safety before the building collapsed.
Many dogs are famous for their super-sensitive ears, but most don’t win awards. Nellie, a 4-year-old black dog, used her ears to detect an intruder and save her deaf owner in time. She received the Hero Dog of the Year award.
Kaze, revered at the Contra Costa Sheriff’s office, saved a missing woman who had been gone for days. During the rescue mission, Kaze located the woman under a bridge. Local officials said that if not rescued within an hour, she would have died. Thankfully, the woman was quickly taken to the hospital and fully recovered after a week.”