Four dogs inducted into Animal Hall of Fame for life-saving actions
Published Monday, May 6, 2013 12:36PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 6, 2013 2:17PM EDT
Four dogs were hailed as heroes Monday at a Toronto ceremony commending their brave and courageous actions.
Dogs Bella, Teak, Snickers and Vicious were inducted into the Animal Hall of Fame during this year’s Purina Animal Hall of Fame ceremony.
During the ceremony, hosted at Toronto’s PawsWay, the dogs were celebrated for the extraordinary actions they took to protect a human life.
Bella, a two-year-old Bernese mountain dog from Nova Scotia, saved the life of her owner last year when she pulled him out of his burning house. Owner Chris Larocque couldn’t get out of the house on his own due to an ankle injury. Realizing the situation, he desperately called for Bella and grabbed onto her collar as she pulled him from the fire.
Larocque said he has no doubt Bella saved his life.
“Without Bella’s devotion, strength and courage, I would have died in the fire that destroyed my home,” he said. “She is truly our family hero, and we’re so happy that Bella is being recognized for her life-saving efforts by the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.”
Teak, an eight-year-old police service dog from Vancouver, was named service dog of the year during Monday’s ceremony.
The German shepherd was credited for catching an armed suspect who was fleeing the scene of a robbery last January. Teak caught the suspect and brought him to the ground, holding him while the suspect repeatedly slashed at the dog’s neck.
Teak, who has since retired from the Vancouver Police Department, was taken to a veterinary hospital and has healed from most of his wounds.
Snickers, a four-year-old border collie-pointer cross from Oshawa, helped attract the attention of neighbours by pacing and barking in their driveway last March. The neighbours called the police, who discovered the dog’s owner, Gregory Gould, lying unconscious on his living room floor. Gould was taken to hospital for treatment.
After further investigation, officers realized that Snickers had thrown himself against the screen door multiple times to get outside and seek help for his owner.
Angie Prime credits the actions of her 12-year-old border collie-Labrador cross, Vicious, with saving her life, after the dog sprang into action and protected her from a cougar attack. Prime, who lives in Trail, B.C., found herself face-to-face with a cougar last August, after she left her back door open. As the cougar pounced on her, Vicious sprang into action to fend off the large cat, even chasing the cougar off Prime’s property.
Purina PetCare Legacy executive director Mary Siemiesz said Monday’s ceremony highlighted the special bond that exists between animals and people.
“"The tenacity of our 2013 inductees to rescue and protect people from harm -- whether it's a wild animal, house fire, criminal or a medical emergency -- showcases the connection animals have to humans and the physical risks they will take to keep them safe,” she said in a statement.
"This year's inductees remind us of how much animals enrich our lives, and that pets and humans are better together."
Since its inception in 1968, 159 animals have been inducted into the hall of fame including 132 dogs, 26 cats and one horse.