March 29, 2017
- Weela's (APBT) life didn't have the best beginning, but the Watkins family are fortunate to have had her in their lives. The family found Weela and her littermates abandoned in an alley at 4 weeks of age. One day while 11 year-old Gary was playing in the garden Weela rushed across the yard and knocked the boy from where he was standing. The mother, who was watching, was at first surprised by this odd behaviour and then horrified when she saw a rattlesnake sink its fangs into Weela's face. Weela recovered from the bite and went on to save 30 people and an eclectic group of animals after extreme flooding near her home. For this Weela was awarded the Ken-L Ration's Dog Hero of the Year.
- Bear, a Rottweiler, was shot 3 times in the line of duty while protecting owner/handler Edward Ernstberger. After a prison escapee shot Ersntberger, Bear jumped from the police cruiser to attack the prisoner, preventing him from killing her owner. She was shot three times, where she had a bullet lodged in her spine, on in her chest, and a third bullet less than 2 inches from her heart. Both Ersntberger and Bella survived the incident and returned to duty. The two retired together.
- Nicole Russell, who lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, was about to leave for work one morning when a car pulled up and 4 armed men jumped out and demanded her keys and purse. She held both arms out so that they could take her jewelry and keys, but in her confusion she didn't realize that she had handed them her house keys. The men became agitated and violent when the keys would not unlock the car. Russell began to scream when one of the men grabbed her and began dragging her towards the car. Russell's mother, alerted by the screams, pushed a panic button in the house and ran into the garden where she was confronted by an attacker with a knife. Bella, the family's 4 year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was with the mother and she lunged at the man with the knife. She bit him several times on the leg and was shot in the head. In spite of her injury Bella continued to defend her family, until the men panicked and fled.There was a point when a man, having just shot at Bella, turned his gun on Nichol and pulled the trigger. There was an empty click: either the gun had misfired or Bella had taken the bullet intended for Russell. When the men were gone Bella sat down and rolled. As Nicole held the dog in her arms Bella looked at her quietly for a few minutes, then died. An autopsy showed that Bella's heart had been completely drained of blood in her fierce battle to protect her family.
- Steve Carpacca, 41, was woken by his pit bull at 3:15 am who was barking fanatically. The room was filled with smoke and ran outside, only to realize that his dog had not followed him. He tried to get back into his blazing trailer, but the fire was out of control and he had to leave. The dog never made it out alive; fire crews found its body in the hall just outside of Mr. Carpacca's bedroom."The dog saved his life, absolutely," said Chief Dicky Harris.
- Reona, a 109 pound Rottweiler left her house during and leapt over 3 fences to come to the aid of 5-year old Vivian Cooper during an earthquake. Vivian has epilepsy, and over excitement could bring on a life threatening seizure. Once in the house Reona pushed the little girl up against the kitchen cabinets and held her there. Moments later a large microwave was shaken of the top of a refrigerator, falling in the exact spot that Vivian had just been. Vivian held onto Reona during the earthquake with her head buried into the big dog's fur. For her heroism Reona was the Ken-L Ration Dog Hero of the Year in 1989.
- Jimmy Farrel of Orleans, Ontario was in a deep sleep after working a double-shift when his mother had a heart attack in the downstairs laundry room. Sensing that something was wrong Lilly ran upstairs outside Jimmy's bedroom and began barking and banging her head against the door. The man opened the door to let the dog climb into bed with him but Lilly was persistent. Lilly pulled the blankets off and started yanking on his arm. Jimmy realized something was wrong and followed Lilly downstairs where he found his mother unconscious. The paramedics responded to his 911 call and Ms. Farrell was rushed to the hospital where she was in critical condition for two days. She recovered fully thanks to Lilly, the family's Bull Terrier.
- Kathie Vaughn's vehicle swerved off the road after something exploded under the hood. Kathie, who is paralyzed from the waist down brought her custom-designed van under control, which rapidly began to fill with smoke. Vaughn opened her door and ordered her dog Eve, a 104 pound Rottweiler, from the van as she tried to pull her wheelchair together. Eve soon returned, grabbed her owner's diabled leg, and dragged Vaughn from the vehicle. Vaughn, who lost consciousness, was woken by an immense explosion that triggered Eve to drag her owner another 20 feet from the vehicle.
- Dixie (APBT) saved the lives of the 3 children in her family when she pushed 9 year old Frank Humphries and his 7 year-old twin siblings, Katie and Codi, out of the way of a deadly cottonmouth snake. Dixie was herself bitten twice in the face by the snake, which was killed by Valerie Humphries who rushed out and killed the snake with an axe. Valerie then rushed Dixie, who was unconscious, to a veterinarian where it took 2 days with the dog hooked up to intravenous antibiotics for the dog to begin her recovery. For her bravery Dixie ended up winning the Hero Dog category in a contest run by the Georgina Veterinary Medical Association, winning over 300 other nominated dogs, and was nominated into the Georgia Animal Hall of Fame.
- Chris Georgiou of Adelaide, Australia was saved from drowning by his Rottweiler and Border Collie. Georgiou, who didn't know how to swim, fell into a 15 feet of water in his fish-pond in full winter clothing. His Border Collie Ziggy barked frantically as he lost his ability to stay above water when Stella, his 90 pound Rottweiler came running over. Stella immediately flew into the pond and swam to her owner, who grabbed hold of her ear. Stella pulled Georgiou to shallow water where he could stand. "I'd be a dead man if it wasn't for my dogs," said Georgiou.
- Autumn Ingram, a young girl, was dragged from her house by the family's 3 year old APBT, Marley. The girl had gone into the house when she saw the fire, and the mother (who esacped with Autum's siblings through a seldom-used back door) saw the dog grab Autumn's coat and forcibly drag the girl out of the house. The house was completely destroyed in the blaze, but the family survived.
- Queen (Rottweiler) saved her family when a fire started in an electrical blanket covering a 9 year old boy. Queen raced to the bedroom of Eddie and Michelle Watson and began to scratch frantically at Michelle's feet to wake her up. Michelle immediately smelled smoke and ran to her children. The blanket covering her son was totally in flames. Michelle grabbed her children and escaped from their home, which was destroyed in the fire.
- Abby (Rottweiler) stopped a kidnapping attempt in Pound Ridge, NY. Six-month old Molly was being babysat when a man showed up a the sitter's cottage saying that the child's father had been taken to the hospital and that the mother had asked the man to come pick-up the baby. As the sitter called to verify the story, the man grabbed the baby and ran for a white van driven by a female accomplice. Abby jumped up and bit the man's arm, who then dropped the baby and fled in the van.
- Lorenzo Abundiz decided to go home while hiking in the woods after Cinder, his 4 year-old, Rottweiler began to behave strangely. Abundiz collapsed from a heart attack moments after arriving home. The dog woke him by pushing the phone towards him, and he was able to call an ambulance.
- Keith Chandler, who was paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident, was rescued by his 2 year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Sandy, when a fire broke out in his home. The man yelled at his four children to leave the house after he smelled the fire and saw smoke pouring from the kitchen. He managed to roll himself off the bed he was in, and tried to drag himself by the elbows across the floor but was making little progress. Sandy rushed in from the garden, grabbed onto the top of his jumper and began dragging Chandler to the patio. doors. She managed to get her owner outside. "The whole room almost exploded just seconds after Sandy pulled me into the garden," said Chandler. The fire, which started in the kitchen, was so intense that it gutted the house in less than 30 minutes. "The dog undoubtedly helped this man get out of the house. He is severely paralysed and I think without the dog's help we would probably be dealing with a fatality here," "said a spokesperson for the fire department.