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Pets of Valor Award Finalists Announced, Online Voting Now Open

  • Chilly helped Heidi Parker survive an a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction.  Meredith Lee/for The HSUS

  • Lilly brought help when Amanda Timoney's mother collapsed in deep bog grasses.  Mark Makela/for The HSUS

  • Taz saved her family (including six other pets) from a house fire. Mark Makela/for The HSUS

  • Rocky guided a disoriented and ill Floyd Tibbetts from the remote woods to safety.  Steve Yeater/for The HSUS

  • Mabeline chased away a registered sex offender who attacked a shelter volunteer on their walk.  Julie Busch Branaman/for The HSUS

The Humane Society of the United States is pleased to announce the top five finalists for the Pets of Valor Award. The award celebrates the human-animal bond by honoring rescued or adopted dogs and cats who have exhibited an extraordinary sense of courage or resolve by heroically helping a person in need.

The spokesdog

Uggie, the highly acclaimed Jack Russell terrier star of last year’s Academy Award-winning film “The Artist,” and official spokesdog of the Pets of Valor Award, praised the contestants through a spokesperson: “Two paws up! These finalists make me proud of my companion animal friends and prove how brave and resourceful we are when it comes to protecting the people we care about. I have played canine heroes in films, and trust me: Being a hero is a hard role to play! That’s what makes these animals so amazing. They were doing it for real.”

Vote for your favorite Pets of Valor every day through May 31 >>

The complete stories of these brave pets’ actions, and photos, are available at humanesociety.org/petsofvalor. Voting to determine the winner is open from May 24 to May 31 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Individuals can vote once per day. They can sign up for daily reminders by texting VALOR to 30644 (message & data rates may apply).

The nominees

  • Chilly, English bulldog mix, adopted from Fluvanna SPCA (Mineral, Va.)—Chilly whined and urgently pawed and licked her owner’s face, waking her from a nap. The owner awoke to discover that her throat was swelling shut, a symptom of the life-threatening anaphylactic reaction to the allergy injections she had received earlier that day.
  • Lilly, pit bull mix, adopted from Joe Joe’s Place (Beachwood, N.J.)—When her owner suffered a brain aneurysm during a hike in the cranberry bogs at a state park, Lilly got another hiker’s attention and led him back 150 yards to her unconscious owner’s side.
  • Mabeline, Rhodesian ridgeback mix, adopted from Friends of Strays Animal Shelter (St. Petersburg, Fla.)—Mabeline sprung to action when the young shelter volunteer who was walking her was attacked. She barked and growled until the attacker, a registered sex offender who was later arrested, fled the scene.
  • Rocky, Labrador retriever mix, adopted from Lassen Humane Society’s Pups on Parole program (Susanville, Calif.)—When his owner collapsed from a low heart rate in a remote wooded area while on a rockhounding expedition, Rocky stayed by his side for 7 ½ hours, licking him to keep him alert and helping slowly guide him back to his truck.
  • Taz, tabby cat rescued as a stray, cared for by the Humane League of Lancaster County (Lancaster, Pa.)—During the night, Taz emitted an uncharacteristic cry that woke his owner as a fire spread through the home. It gave him just enough time to wake his fiancé and her daughter and for the family to escape the burning home along with Taz and six other pets.

The winner

The winner will be announced online June 2 and will receive an original sterling silver pet tag with a bezel set stone by Bella Tocca Tags and a personalized crystal figurine by Custom Glass Etching of Los Angeles.

Honoring the shelter or rescue

In addition, the animal shelter or rescue group that cared for the dog or cat who wins will receive a one-year supply of dog food (500 pounds) courtesy of BOGO Bowl.


High resolution photos of the finalists are available through the media contact below.

Media Contact:
Raúl Arce-Contreras: 301-721-6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org                

Media Contact List2

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