Hero pets defy the odds to save lives

We never tire of heroic animal stories. And, the four outstanding dogs recently inducted as the newest members of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame are nothing short of miracle workers.

Dean McNeill, a spokesperson with Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada, summed it up beautifully.

“This year’s inductees have an incredible sense of awareness,” he said in a statement. “In unique ways they each kept human lives safe when people weren’t immediately available, rescuing their owners, loved ones and in one case a complete stranger.”

A ceremony was held last week to honour this year’s inductees. Watch the videos below. But be sure to have some tissue handy.

Derik Hodgson has his dog, Badger, to thank for saving his life. The Elgin, Ontario man snapped his leg on a frozen lake at the mercury dipped below -20 Celsius. Crippled and losing consciousness, Hodgson grabbed Badger’s collar and yelled “Mush, Badger, mush!” Badger pulled him off the lake and to the cabin, 400 metres away, where Hodgson managed to call for help.

Rob Sheardown rescued Bella from an animal shelter, not knowing his new best friend would one day rescue a stranger in need. Sheardown was heading into the elevator at his apartment building in Windsor, Ontario when Bella suddenly trotted off to the lobby. There they found an elderly man hidden behind a couch and in cardiac arrest. If not for Bella’s sense that something was amiss, the ill man may not have been found in time.

Sixteen-year-old Joseph Phillips-Garcia has Sako to thank for saving his life after a horrific car accident. The teen from Kanaka Bar, British Columbia, was on a road trip with family and a friend, when their vehicle plunged down a steep embankment. The only survivors, Joseph and the dog, were tossed from the vehicle. So badly injured, Joseph was unable to move, but for two days, Sako stayed by his side keeping him warm and fighting off predator animals. Joseph’s cousin eventually found the pair.

Nettle is true trailblazer. She is one of Canada’s first diabetic alert dogs and tends to twins Brooke and Jade Bordman. The girls (pictured above) have Type-1 diabetes, which without constant monitoring of blood-sugar levels, can be deadly.  Within days of joining the Cambridge, Ontario family, Nettle alerted the Bordman’s that Jade was suffering a serious diabetic low between regular checks. Since then, Nettle has repeatedly come to the girls’ aid.

To date, 168 animals – 140 dogs, 27 cats and one horse – have been honoured for protecting their human companions.

Photo CNW Group/Purina Animal Hall of Fame

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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