Five courageous canines inducted into the 43rd Annual Purina Animal Hall of Fame
TORONTO, May 16 /CNW/ - Loyalty, bravery, unconditional love, devotion
and intuition - these are just a few of the ways to describe the 2011
Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees - K'os, Moose, Scooter and Missy,
and Stinky. Honoured this morning at PawsWay in Toronto, the permanent
home of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, each of these pet heroes
exemplifies the powerful bond that exists between animals and humans.
"Each year, we pay tribute to the heroic acts of pets and service
animals across the country, and continue to be inspired and awe-struck
with each submission we receive," said Mary Siemiesz, Executive
Director of the Purina PetCare Legacy. "The Purina Animal Hall of Fame
is at the heart of who we are as a company and we are incredibly
honoured to celebrate these extraordinary heroes that go above and
beyond what is expected of them to help save lives."
As one of the longest running pet recognition programs in Canada, the
Purina Animal Hall of Fame has recognized the life-saving feats of pets
and service animals for more than four decades. Since its inception in
1968, over 150 animals have been inducted - 125 dogs, 25 cats and one
horse. Canadians across the country can visit www.purinahalloffame.ca to read past honoured stories, and learn how to nominate a heroic pet
or service dog.
The 2011 honourees were carefully selected from hundreds of nominations
based on their intelligence, loyalty and compassion. These pets have
saved the lives of their owners, family members, and have provided
unconditional support during difficult times. "This year's Inductees
prove that there are many different qualities that make up a hero,"
said Siemiesz. "They remind us of the important roles that pets play in
our lives, and how much we value their companionship."
"Without K'os' quick thinking, our son Hunter would not be here today,"
said Linda Guindon, owner of the two-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff from
Peterborough, Ontario, and 2011 Inductee. "He is truly our family hero,
and we're so thrilled that K'os is being recognized for his heroic
efforts by the Purina Animal Hall of Fame."
The 2011 Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees:
Scooter & Missy (Cherhill, AB)
Scooter, a 12-year-old Australian Cattle Dog and Missy, a six-year-old
Border Collie, saved Glenda Mosher from a potentially fatal cow attack.
When Glenda, her husband Gary and grandson Travis were trying to herd a
cow and two calves back through a gate, the cow suddenly turned and
charged at Glenda. The cow was relentless in her attack, but before it
turned fatal, Scooter and Missy courageously intervened. In an effort
to rescue Glenda, Scooter jumped at the cow and nipped her on the nose,
and Missy, the more docile of the two dogs, bit the cow's hind leg. The
dogs continued to run and bark until they chased the cow away. Glenda
was bloody, broken and bruised - but miraculously, still alive. Gary
quickly sent Travis to alert his mother Anna and call for help. Gary,
along with Missy and Scooter, stayed by Glenda's side until she was
transported to the nearest hospital over 30 minutes away. Glenda spent
a month recovering from her injuries, which included broken ribs, a
broken jaw and teeth, a fractured skull, and a dislocated hip. There is
no doubt in any of the Mosher's minds that, had it not been for Scooter
and Missy, Glenda would have never survived the attack. Sadly, Scooter
passed away on April 15th, 2011 in the arms of Glenda and Gary at home. Scooter's courageous act
was honoured at this year's Purina Animal Hall of Fame ceremony and a
permanent tribute for Scooter and all other 2011 Inductees has been
created at PawsWay, the permanent home of the Purina Animal Hall of
Moose (Trenton, ON)
Moose, a lovable two-year-old Whippet, whose quick-thinking alerted
Jolene Sararas one afternoon in the nick of time. Jolene was doing some
chores in the kitchen with the back door open to watch her
three-year-old daughter Alexis, who was playing in the backyard with
Moose. Suddenly, Moose ran into the house, looked at Jolene, and then
ran back outside again. Jolene thought this behaviour was odd, but
brushed it off, thinking Moose didn't mean anything by it. Seconds
later, Moose ran into the house again and gave Jolene a strange look
before running back outside. Moose then started barking and jumping
furiously in the backyard, and this uncharacteristic behaviour
definitely got Jolene's attention. She walked out into the backyard to
see what had upset Moose, and to her horror, found Alexis with her neck
caught in their backyard wire gate. Jolene frantically ran to her
daughter and immediately freed her from the gate, and tried to revive
Alexis, who wouldn't open her eyes and was barely conscious. In a
panic, Jolene called her husband Terry at work, followed by 911. When
Terry and the fire department arrived, Alexis had regained
consciousness, but was still having trouble breathing. Alexis was taken
to the nearest hospital, and luckily she suffered no permanent
injuries. Moose is no longer considered an "ordinarily smart" Whippet
in the Sararas household. They now call him "Moose the Wonder Dog" the
family hero who helped save Alexis' life.
K'os (Peterborough, ON)
K'os, an obedient French Neapolitan Mastiff with a sweet temperament,
went from family pet to family hero when his protective instincts
helped save Hunter Guindon's life. In August 2009, Linda and Jason
Guindon's 14- year-old son, Hunter, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis,
a critical condition that affects the lungs and can cause difficulty
breathing. One night, Linda and Jason were awoken by K'os, who ran into
their bedroom barking furiously and jumping on their bed. K'os kept
running from Linda and Jason's bedroom to Hunter's room. They were
immediately concerned by his behaviour, as K'os seldom barks and is
usually very calm. Jason went downstairs to check the front door while
Linda followed K'os into Hunter's room. When she turned on the lights,
she discovered K'os on the bed standing over Hunter, who was violently
convulsing. Hunter was having a severe seizure. His face appeared grey
in colour and he wasn't breathing. His mouth had also filled with fluid
which was causing him to choke. Terrified, Linda immediately rushed to
Hunter's side and turned him over to help clear his airway, and yelled
for Jason to call an ambulance. Hunter was rushed to the hospital,
where it was determined he had experienced a grand mal seizure, and was
later diagnosed with epilepsy. Although the Guindons know that Hunter's
epileptic episodes will continue, they take comfort in knowing that
K'os is always by Hunter's side, not only as a beloved family pet, but
also as Hunter's true hero and protector.
Service Dog of the Year: Stinky (Winnipeg, MB)
Stinky, a ten-year-old Rottweiler with extraordinary compassion and an
unusual name, offers unconditional support and kindness to Canadian
soldiers who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Stinky
is part of the Manitoba Search and Rescue's (MSAR) Elite Psychiatric
Therapy Dog Program, founded by her owner, George Leonard. One of the
major components of this program is providing constant emotional
therapy via psychiatric dogs to Canadian soldiers suffering from PTSD.
Soldiers suffering from this debilitating anxiety disorder feel
isolated, angry, and have difficulty coping with the trauma they
endured during combat. Elite psychiatric service dogs, like Stinky,
help soldiers with this dangerous condition through companionship and
unwavering affection. Stinky, the lead dog in this unique program, has
provided unconditional love and encouragement to many soldiers
diagnosed with severe cases of PTSD and depression. A number of these
soldiers have come forward, sharing the life-changing experiences they
had with Stinky and her ability to give them hope, even through their
darkest hours. According to these soldiers, Stinky helped save their
lives in the most important way: by helping them realize life is worth
living once again.
Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada is a leading pet care company and global manufacturer of quality
and nutritious pet food brands such as PRO PLAN, PURINA ONE, Dog Chow®,
ALPO, BENEFUL, BEGGIN' STRIPS, BUSY BONE, CAT CHOW, FRISKIES, FANCY
FEAST, LUV, and cat litter brands MAXX and KITTY LITTER. Our promise, "Your Pet, Our Passion", and the creation of PAWSWAY Pet Discovery Centre, the permanent home of the PURINA ANIMAL HALL OF FAME, reflects our commitment to pets and promoting responsible pet care.
Purina is the proud sponsor of The Purina National and the Lions Foundation of Canada PURINA WALK FOR DOG GUIDES. For more
information about Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada please visit www.purina.ca.
For more information about the Purina Animal Hall of Fame please visit www.purinahallfoffame.ca.
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SOURCE Purina Animal Hall of Fame
For further information:
To request an interview, learn more about these inductees or obtain photography please contact:
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416-969-2669 / 416-969-2668