Quadruple Amputee Dog Wins American Humane's 2018 'Hero Dog' Award

Watch the nationwide broadcast via the Hallmark Channel on October 24 at 8 p.m. ET

Whether a dog is a pet, a service animal or just a cuddle buddy, a dog can make a huge difference in a person's life. To honor the extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs every day, American Humane recently announced the finalists for its annual Hero Dog Awards. As part of its annual "Adopt-a-Dog Month," American Humane partnered with Hallmark Channel's "Adoption Ever After" campaign to encourage animal-lovers to adopt one or more of the millions of pets in shelters across the country.

Hosted by notorious animal advocate Beth Stern and actor James Denton, the event will be broadcast by Hallmark Channel nationwide on October 24 at 8 p.m. ET. With more than one million votes tallied, American Humane named one finalist in each of its seven sub-categories: Therapy, Law Enforcement/Arson, Emerging Hero, Guide/Hearing, Military, Search and Rescue, and Service. 

"The American Humane Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the most extraordinary heroes the world has ever known, the very best of our best friends," Dr. Robin Ganzert, the president and CEO of American Humane said in an official press release.

Check out three of our favorite 2018 winners: 

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Chi Chi: American Humane's 2018 Therapy Dog of the Year and winner of the American Hero Dog Award.

Chi Chi, the 2018 American Humane Therapy Dog of the Year Invision for American Humane / AP Images

While each winner was eligible for the grand prize, Chi Chi American Humane's 2018 Therapy Dog of the Year also won the American Hero Dog Award.

Chi Chi, the 4-year-old Golden Retriever from Phoenix, Ariz.,, became a quadruple amputee after she was left for dead in South Korea. Because she was found in a garbage bag with her legs bound, worn to the bone, and already necrotized, doctors could only save her life by amputating portions of all four of her legs. Subsequently, when she first arrived at owner Elizabeth Howell's home, Chi Chi was afraid of people. But with time, she ultimately came to trust people again. 

According to Chi Chi's owner, the young dog quickly adapted to her first set of custom prosthetics and now loves spending her days as a certified therapy dog sharing her joy and cheerful demeanor with people of all ages. That's why Chi Chi ultimately won the 2018 Therapy Dog of the Year Award, as sponsored by Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food, the official pet food of the 2018 Hero Dog Awards. (Disclaimer: Chicken Soup for the Soul is the parent company of A Plus and Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food.)

"Recently, she had surgery to remove cancer tumors, so she is a cancer survivor," Howell said in an official press release. "When people meet Chi Chi, they are inspired by her courage, perseverance, ability to overcome adversity and her never-give-up attitude. She exemplifies resilience and forgiveness, and openly shares her love and compassion in abundance." 

"Her sweet-tempered and gentle spirit opens people's hearts and her perceptive spirit senses where her love is needed," she added. "When people hear Chi Chi's story and experience her attitude of joy, they are often inspired to face their challenges with renewed courage and a fresh perspective. Chi Chi brings joy everywhere she goes and her optimism and smile spreads quickly to others. She positively impacts thousands of people all over the world via her online therapy work through her social media account."

Sergeant Fieldy: Military Dog of the Year

Sergeant Field, the 2018 American Humane Military Dog of the Year Invision for American Humane / AP Images

Sgt. Fieldy's an 11-year-old Black Lab who served in the U.S. Marine Corps until he retired in August 2014. Sgt. Fieldy served in Afghanistan to combat Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

"We both experienced first-hand the effects of IEDs when a vehicle struck a pressure plate during a patrol and injured the occupants," his owner said in an official statement. "Knowing that we were both targets for insurgent observers, we worked tirelessly to detect explosives. He alerted me and found yet another IED, a 60-pound plastic barrel containing homemade explosives. During our deployment, Sgt. Fieldy found several more IEDs and their components, which helped save countless lives during our tour."

While Sgt. Fieldy served four more tours after his owner returned home, on August 7, 2014, they were finally reunited.

"Since then, he has very much enjoyed his retirement," his owner added. "In November 2014 he participated in the Veterans Day Parade in New York City. And in July 2016, he was honored with the K-9 Medal of Courage award on Capitol Hill, and has been recognized for his bravery and courageous sacrifice on several other occasions. He has made a life-changing impact on my life. He is my hero!"

Ruby: Search and Rescue Dog of the Year

Chi Chi and her owner, Elizabeth Howell (center) alongside actress Denise Richards (left) and actor jerry O'Connell (right). Invision for American Humane / AP Images

When a teenage boy went missing from his home in Gloucester in October 2017, the police department called upon the services of the Rhode Island State Police K-9 Division.

"K-9 Ruby and I answered the call and responded to the scene along with other K-9 teams," Ruby's owner said in an official statement. "As part of normal protocol, I briefly interviewed the boy's mother. During the conversation, it was revealed that the boy's mother had volunteered her services working with Ruby six years ago at the RISPCA and fostered her each time she was returned. After hours of searching, K-9 Ruby and I were ultimately successful in finding the missing teenager, but unfortunately, he was found in grave medical condition."

Luckily, the boy made a full recovery thanks to Ruby's keen abilities.

"You can think what you may, but I believe that was Ruby's way of saying thank you to the boy's mother for taking care of her during her rough beginning," her owner added. "Ruby was given a chance at life and ended up saving a life. With the efforts of two organizations (RISP and RISPCA) and a handful of amazing and dedicated people, great things can happen."

"It is an honor to support an effort to recognize the best of our 'best friends,'" philanthropist Lois Pope, who has been the awards' presenting sponsor for seven years, said in an official press release. "From those who defend our country to those who help us heal, guide us, protect us, and help find the lost, every single contender exemplifies the courage and heroism we seek to spotlight in the Hero Dog Awards campaign. Through this national forum we have helped educate America about the lifesaving, life-affirming work of our nation's canine heroes."

To learn more about the other Hero Dog winners, watch the nationwide broadcast via the Hallmark Channel on October 24 at 8 p.m. ET. Check your local listings for additional information.

Cover image via Invision for American Humane / AP Images

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