The Purina Animal Hall of Fame added three dogs and a cat to its membership during an induction ceremony at Toronto’s PawsWay Pet Discovery Centre on Monday.
Nestle Purina PetCare is behind recognizing heroic animals (http://www.samaritanmag.com/features/pet-heroes), and this year’s class of inductees brings the Hall of Fame’s total to 120 dogs, 25 cats and one horse over 42 years.
“This year’s inductees have shown us that a hero is a hero no matter how big or small,” said Purina PetCare Legacy executive director Mary Siemiesz from the stage. “All that matters is the size of their hearts. They remind us why we adopt, rescue and welcome pets into our lives, and why it is so essential that they are responsibly cared for and cherished.”
If you know of a pet whose actions may be worthy of recognition, you can find out more information and nominate an animal at www.purina.ca/about/halloffame.
Here are the inspiring stories of the four 2010 inductees:
This normally quiet orange cat caught the attention of Phyllis Sjogren with a series of loud yowls that roused her out of bed at 6:30 a.m. one morning last December. As Sjogren went to investigate, she realized she had a massive headache and, after calming Gepetto down, she called her husband at work to tell him about the situation. He told her to get out of their Wetaskiwin, Alta. house right away and call a friend who worked for the gas company. It was discovered that the home had been 70 per cent filled with carbon monoxide and that Sjogren was suffering from stage two carbon monoxide poisoning — one stage away from death. She made a full recovery, and Gepetto was fine, too.
Eighty-year-old Kai Jensen was in the field of the Westlock, Alta. farm he tended with his son Allan and five-year-old Border Collie mix Patty last May when the younger man noticed the dog uncharacteristically jumping, barking furiously and running in circles outside the door of the 2,700-kilogram air seeder he had just entered. Allan got out of the cab and followed Patty, discovering that Kai had somehow been crushed by the machinery. Allan pulled out his cell phone and called 911 and paramedics arrived in time to save his father, despite the massive injuries he suffered. While Kai is no longer able to work on the farm, he still walks around the grounds with Patty by his side.
James Delorey, a seven-year-old with autism, was playing outside with his mixed-breed dog Chance in December when he wandered off into the woods behind his family’s South Bar, N.S. home. The boy’s mother, Veronica Fraser, looked frantically for James and Chance before calling police to help with the search. Authorities and members of the community used four-wheelers, helicopters and night-vision goggles for two days during a snowstorm but were unable to find the young boy, who wasn’t wearing a jacket. Chance then emerged from the forest and search and rescue teams followed his paw prints back to James, who was unconscious and suffering from extreme hypothermia. He was rushed to hospital, but passed away later that day. It’s likely that James survived as long as he did due to Chance lying beside him to warm him, and by enabling rescuers to find him.
This 10-year-old Jack Russell Terrier was trained as a service dog to help the Shilo, Man. family of eight-year-old Cole Hein, who suffers from a life-threatening and undiagnosed condition that causes him to retch and stop breathing with little to no warning. Bingo was trained to bark whenever she hears Cole retch, which alerts the family that he may have stopped breathing. She’s done this on numerous occasions, enabling the family to get help or administer artificial respiration, which has saved the youngster’s life each time.