A black lab named Pearl was left at an animal shelter and later adopted by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. There she was trained and certified as a search dog. After being trained she joined the LA County Fire Department’s Task Force 2. In July 2010 she was deployed to Haiti for two weeks spending hours each day searching for earthquake victims. Search teams there dug through concrete rubble, dirt, and other debris to find people who were trapped but still alive. Pearl was part of a search group that found twelve people and saved them.
For her efforts, she was awarded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Dog of the Year Award for 2010.
Their Cat of the Year, Henry, was a stray kitten found on the property of Cathy Conheim in California. One of his legs was damaged to the point where it had to be amputated. When he had recovered from the surgery Conheim began writing children’s books about him to raise awareness for tolerance. These works have been distributed to 45,000 people. Some of the recipients are Hurricane Katrina survivors and families of wounded veterans. One of the books has been translated for use in a children’s amputee project in Haiti.
The ASPCA Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year award went to Olivia Bouler who is creating original watercolor drawings of birds for people who donate to the Audubon Society for protecting birds and wildlife in their natural habitats. She was inspired to contribute to bird protection after the Gulf Oil disaster caused so much harm to birds. The award is named in honor of Tommy P. Monahan who died in a house fire trying to save his pet.
Another of their annual awards went to a sanctuary for abused, neglected or abandoned horses in Woodbine, Maryland. Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc. expanded from an 18 acre to 58 acre facility for horse care. They can accommodate 50-70 horses at a time in need of care. Kathleen Schwartz-Howe founded the horse sanctuary after seeing neglect at a local horse stable.
Image Credit: Public Domain