Mission Manager congratulates this year’s Hero Dog “Susie” – a pit bull mix that was nearly burned to death but lived to help her owner and inspired tougher laws to punish animal abuses in North Carolina. Susie was among eight Hero Dog nominees that were honored at the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ gala on Saturday — including Mission Manager-sponsored K9 Bretagne, who represented the Search and Rescue Category, and her owner and long-time handler, Denise Corliss of Cypress, Texas.
The star-studded awards show will air October 30 at 8 pm ET/PT, 7 pm Central Time. The show was hosted by television and film star James Denton and model and animal advocate Beth Stern, accompanied by a galaxy of stars and presenters. Wilson Phillips provided the lead musical performances, which brought down the house.
As reported by the American Humane Association (see article), Susie was only a puppy when her owner beat her savagely and set her on fire, leaving her for dead in a local park in Greensboro, North Carolina. After being rescued by a local animal shelter and nursed back to health, she was adopted by Donna Lawrence, who had been the victim of a terrible dog attack that nearly killed her and left her without the ability to have children.
Together, they helped each other heal from their physical and emotional wounds, triumphing over pain and fear to become voices for abused animals and helping pass “Susie’s Law” in North Carolina, which calls for harsher penalties for convicted animal abusers.
Mission Manager’s Hero Dog nominee, Bretagne (pronounced “Brittany,”) is a 15-year-old golden retriever that is one of two surviving search dogs from Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She now works with the Cy Fair Volunteer Fire Department helping school kids learn to read – just by listening.
The Hero Dog Awards were created to celebrate the powerful relationship between dogs and people and recognize extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs. During a nationwide search, 135 dogs from all across the country were nominated and more than one and a half million votes were cast by the American public, culminating in the selection of eight extraordinary canine finalists.