Dog Who Lost Legs But Not Hope Wins Most Heroic Award At 2021 American Humane Society Gala
Based on more than a million votes by the American public and the deliberations of a VIP panel of dog experts and celebrity animal lovers, Boone, a four-year-old hound mix from Hookstown, Pennsylvania, who lost two legs but not hope, has been named the most heroic canine in the United States.
Photo Insert: Boone may be missing two hind legs, but he is abundant in hope and happiness.
Boone, who survived heartbreaking cruelty as a puppy, bested more than 400 other competitors across the country and captured the top title at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards® gala last night. PR Newswire reported that the Hero Dog Awards were held at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and were sponsored by the internationally renowned philanthropist Lois Pope.
"The American Humane Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the world's most extraordinary heroes," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, the country's first national humane organization.
"These courageous canines have gone above and beyond the call of duty, saving lives on the battlefield, comforting the ill and aged, and reminding us of the powerful, age-old bond between animals and people. All seven category winners exemplify what it means to be a hero, and we hope that their stories will inspire people to value our animal friends and recognize how much they do for us every day."
Boone overcame unimaginable cruelty as a puppy, which resulted in the loss of his back legs when he was adopted by a family with a soft spot for special needs pets. Boone's family had him fitted with a wheelchair to improve his mobility, and he has been a dog on a mission ever since – a mission to spread his joy to others with his infectious smile and story of resilience.
Despite his challenges, Boone's sweet nature and enthusiasm for life make him a perfect fit for his new profession as a therapy dog. Children light up when he enters the room. Boone is also an ambassador for the nonprofit Joey's P.A.W. (Prosthetics and Wheels), which has provided mobility devices to more than 700 dogs in need in Pittsburgh, across the country, and even internationally.
Boone and Joey's P.A.W. hope to improve outcomes for dogs with mobility issues in shelters and rescues across the country, as well as perceptions about their adoptability.
For his good works, Boone first won the top title in his individual category, becoming the country's Therapy Hero Dog of the Year, and then, in the last round, won the American Humane Hero Dog Awards' top title of 2021's American Hero Dog.
The star-studded awards gala was hosted by television personality, actor and designer Carson Kressley, accompanied by a galaxy of celebrity stars and presenters including popular film and television actress Vivica A. Fox, country music legend Naomi Judd, USMC Colonel Scott Campbell (Ret.), Rear Admiral Tom Kearney (Ret.), renowned veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker and Zoetis EVP and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael McFarland.
Grammy-winning singer Lisa Loeb was the musical headliner and additional entertainment was provided by the renowned Alex Donner Orchestra and singer Cande Rivers.
The Hero Dog Awards were created to celebrate the powerful relationship between dogs and people and recognize extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs. The program was aired on nationwide television on Hallmark Drama on October 20 during American Humane's annual "Adopt-a-Dog Month®," a 40-year-long effort to help get more of the millions of beautiful animals left in shelters each year into forever homes.
The final winner is chosen through public voting after passing through previous rounds in which candidates must prevail through a combination of public votes and voting by a panel of animal advocates and celebrity judges, including Kristin Chenoweth, Erik Estrada, Danielle Fishel, Daniel Henney, Naomi Judd, Dr. Michael McFarland, Barbara Niven, Jon Ondrasik, Mark Penning, Alison Sweeney, and Ariel Winter.