Four-Legged Heroes Risk Life and Limb to Save Human Lives

Constable Matthew Williamson's police service dog Quanto was inducted into the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)

Chyrl Field's heroic cat Meskie was inducted into the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)

Lynn O'Connor's two heroic dogs, Jake and Kyra, were inducted into the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)

Adam Shaw's dog, Rocky, was inducted into the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)

German Shepherd Kyra (5) was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame today for coming to the rescue of her owner, Lynn O'Connor, when she was viciously attacked by a black bear near Peterborough, Ontario. (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)

Five new animals inducted into the 46th Annual Purina Animal Hall of Fame

TORONTO, May 5, 2014 /CNW/ - If you have ever doubted whether or not you could count on an animal in a time of danger, the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame inductees will reassure you. This morning,

Purina honoured tremendous acts of animal bravery from loyal pets and a service animal at the 46th Annual Purina Hall of Fame, hosted at Purina PawsWay, its permanent home. This year's Inductees, comprised of three canine pets, one service dog, and a courageous cat, were honoured for the extraordinary actions they took to protect a human life - demonstrating the unique and powerful bond that exists between animals and people. Sadly, two canines were honoured posthumously.

"Every year, these stories not only capture our hearts, but the hearts of the entire country," said Susan Molenda, Vice President, Nestlé Purina PetCare.  "This year's Inductees overcame incredible obstacles such as a vicious black bear attack, a partially frozen river, a house fire and a dangerous criminal - literally putting their lives in harm's way to keep humans safe."

The Purina Animal Hall of Fame is about incredible stories of pets that save lives. Over the course of more than four decades, the initiative has honoured pets and service dogs for their amazing acts of heroism and bravery. From sensing deadly medical conditions to saving their owners from wild animal attacks, in the last 46 years, 164 Inductees have been recognized including 136 dogs, 27 cats - and even a horse.

"We continue to be amazed by the enormous, life-changing impact an animal can have on all of us," said Molenda.  "At Purina, we feel it is extremely important to celebrate the lives of these loved ones. We thank Jake and Kyra, Meskie, Rocky and Quanto for inspiring us all."

Many pet owners undoubtedly think of their pets as family. It is stories like the ones shared through the Purina Animal Hall of Fame that show us, unquestionably, the loyalty, protection and love that animals provide - enhancing the lives of everyone around them.  The 2014 Inductees have proven themselves to be courageous and devoted animals that put their lives at risk to ensure the safety of the humans around them.

"Rocky never hesitated to jump in and work with me to pull Samara from an ice-cold river. He was driven to help me save those little girls that day," said Adam Shaw, Rocky's owner.  "He is an incredible, courageous animal and is not just a pet to us. He is a huge part of our family and we can't thank Purina enough for honouring him in this way."

The 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees:

Rocky (Fort Saskatchewan, AB)
Hiking through Rundle Park, the Shaw family suddenly heard screaming under a footbridge and looked down to see a young girl floating in the river and another girl trying to pull her out. It was Samara, age 9, and her sister Krymzen, age 10. Samara had fallen through the ice and was being carried away by the aggressive current, and as her sister desperately tried to help, she also fell in. Adam and his loyal canine companion, Rocky, ran to the girls' rescue and although they were able to pull Krymzen out, Samara was being pulled further downstream. As they tried to reach her, the ice beneath Adam and Rocky broke and they also dropped into the cold river. Adam pushed Rocky, a 105-pound Husky-Labrador mix, out of the river, and pulled himself out by holding onto Rocky's leash. It was then that Adam knew he had to get Rocky back in the water with the leash in order to pull Samara onto the thicker ice where he was perched. Rocky courageously jumped into the water and swam away from Adam to where Samara was. Samara held Rocky's leash while Adam yelled out, calling the dog back to him. When they reached Adam, he quickly pulled them out of the freezing waters to safety.

Jake and Kyra (Peterborough, ON)
It started off like any typical walk with the dogs when Lynn and her two German Shepherds, Jake and Kyra, came face-to- face with a black bear. Without hesitation, the ferocious animal attacked Lynn.  Jake's protective instincts were triggered and he risked his own life to rescue Lynn.  Unfortunately, he was only able to distract the bear for a matter of moments before it pushed him to the ground and went back to Lynn.  Responding to Jake's cries, Kyra bravely intervened and refused to give up, biting and barking at the bear until it finally turned its attention away from Lynn completely. With the bear chasing Kyra through the woods, Lynn's cries alerted her husband Jerry back at the family cabin. Jerry came to the rescue on his ATV and was able to get Lynn home and then to the local hospital for treatment.  Thankfully, Lynn and her two dogs survived the incident but sadly, Jake passed away in November 2013 as a result of old age. His tenacity and determination will be forever remembered through the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.

Meskie (Little Shemogue, NB)
Meskie, a 17-year-old Calico-Angora mixed cat stole Chyrl Field's heart away the moment she laid eyes on her. Chyrl, a 67-year-old retiree, is a life-long pet lover. Living alone in her New Brunswick home, Chyrl developed some health issues over the years including a bad hip, knee and heart, so it helped having a loyal companion with a soft and tender personality by her side. On the evening of August 8th, 2013, Chyrl fell asleep in her reclining chair only to wake up to Meskie forcefully pouncing on her stomach. Chyrl understood from Meskie's peculiar behaviour that something was wrong and followed her into the kitchen where she noticed that the front of her house was on fire.  Chyrl grabbed Meskie and dialed 911 for help. Fleeing from her home wearing only a nightgown, Chyrl got into her car and pulled away from the house. By the time she was able to back her car away, the flames from the house fire were so intense that the paint on her car was blistering from the heat. If it had not been for Meskie alerting Chyrl to the fire that night - Chyrl knows the pair would have perished.

Quanto (Edmonton, AB)
One early morning in October 2013, Edmonton police officers were engaged in a vehicle pursuit where the suspect crashed a stolen vehicle and tried to flee on foot. On the scene were Constable Matthew Williamson (Matt) and his partner, Police Service Dog Quanto.  When Matt's warnings to the suspect to surrender were ignored, he deployed Quanto to apprehend the suspect. The suspect presented his left forearm and while Quanto was engaged, the suspect proceeded to "hit" Quanto numerous times with his right fist. Matt then realized that the suspect was wielding a knife but, at first, did not notice any injuries on Quanto. Matt then ordered the suspect to drop the knife and Quanto released his hold as well, turning towards Matt. Matt noticed a large amount of blood streaming from the front of Quanto's chest and saw that he had been stabbed.  By this time, other Edmonton police officers had arrived at the scene. They surrounded the suspect and arrested him. Matt ran to Quanto, carried him to his vehicle and transported him to the closest emergency veterinarian clinic where doctors were unfortunately unsuccessful at reviving him. Quanto lost his life that day, going above and beyond his call of duty by making the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect his team and the citizens of Edmonton.

Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada is a leading pet care company and global manufacturer of quality pet brands, including: Pro Plan, Purina ONE, Friskies, and Tidy Cat. Nestlé Purina promotes responsible pet care, humane education, community involvement, and the positive bond between people and their pets. Our promise, "Your Pet, Our Passion", and the creation of Purina PawsWay, the permanent home of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, reflect our commitment to pets.

For information about Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada visit www.purina.ca.

For more information about the Purina Animal Hall of Fame please visit www.purinahalloffame.ca. To watch videos of this year's inductee stories, visit www.youtube.com/PurinaCanada.


SOURCE Purina Animal Hall of Fame

Image with caption: "Constable Matthew Williamson's police service dog Quanto was inducted into the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140505_C6527_PHOTO_EN_39970.jpg

Image with caption: "Chyrl Field's heroic cat Meskie was inducted into the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140505_C6527_PHOTO_EN_39969.jpg

Image with caption: "Lynn O'Connor's two heroic dogs, Jake and Kyra, were inducted into the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140505_C6527_PHOTO_EN_39968.jpg

Image with caption: "Adam Shaw's dog, Rocky, was inducted into the 2014 Purina Animal Hall of Fame (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140505_C6527_PHOTO_EN_39971.jpg

Image with caption: "German Shepherd Kyra (5) was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame today for coming to the rescue of her owner, Lynn O'Connor, when she was viciously attacked by a black bear near Peterborough, Ontario. (CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140505_C6527_PHOTO_EN_39982.jpg





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416-969-2826 / 416-969-2796
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