Meet the Winners of the 2007 ASPCA Humane Awards
DOG OF THE YEAR
In 2005, Toby, a four-week-old golden retriever, was found living in a dumpster in Maryland. He was significantly underweight, and his white-yellow coat was hidden under layers of dirt and maggots. Debbie Parkhurst took Toby in, bathed him, and bottle-fed him back to health.Toby never forgot the favor, and almost two years later he was able to return it.While Debbie was enjoying a snack in March 2007, a piece of an apple became lodged in her throat.Without missing a beat,Toby leapt onto his distressed owner, pushing her to the ground, and jumped on her chest until the fruit was dislodged. For his brave act,Toby was honored as Dog of the Year at the 2007 ASPCA Humane Awards ceremony on November 1, 2007.
Other awards and winners included:
Deputy Dwight Sloan, from Jefferson County, Alabama, was selected as LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE YEAR for his role in investigating the fatal shooting of a fiveyear- old palomino horse and catching the killer.
The CAT OF THE YEAR is Winnie, a 14-year-old domestic shorthair who woke up her owners when their house filled with carbon monoxide in the middle of the night. (We covered the story of this brave cat in Unleashed! in the fall 2007 issue of HealthyPet.)
The FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR is William H. Smith, III, of Ladder 58 in New York City, who risked his life to rescue a dog and cat from an apartment fire in June 2007.
Twelve-year-old Rachel Distefano, who cofounded Amaryllis Farm Equine Rescue in Sagaponack, New York, to save horses and ponies from slaughter, was chosen as KID OF THE YEAR.
Bill Smith, who launched a billboard campaign to educate the public about puppy mills and founded Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, received the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.
Tony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, who opened the Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, California, received the HENRY BERGH AWARD for his efforts to educate the public about the human–animal bond, pet overpopulation, and pet homelessness.