After being named part of DOG FANCY’s Hero Dog Search Team of the Year, 8-year-old Border Collie Hunter, teamed with Fire Captain Billy Monahan of Tehachapi, Calif., has been awarded the American Kennel Club’s Award for Canine Excellence.
Hunter and Capt. Monahan, a K9 team with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, rescued four people from the rubble after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Hunter previously has been named Firefighter of the Year by Los Angeles County, the first ever non-human recipient of that honor.
The ACE award is given to five loyal, hard-working dogs each year who make a significant contribution to their community.
The awards “celebrate what dogs contribute to our lives,” says AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “They show the impact a single dog can make in a community.”
This year’s other ACE winners include therapy dog Tugg, a Bull Terrier who has helped raise money for several charitable causes; Blue, a German Shepherd Dog police dog who helped locate human remains in several high-profile cases; service dog Bingo, a Labrador Retriever whose owner has cerebral palsy; and therapy dog Miki, who helps raise awareness for charities including the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
ACE recipients receive $1,000 and an engraved silver medallion, which will be presented to the dogs and their owners at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 17 and televised by ABC Television Feb. 4.
For more information on the ACE awards, visit www.akc.org.