Bella, Vicious, Snickers and Teak are the latest four-legged members of Canada’s pantheon of hero animals.
The four dogs were inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame on May 6 during a ceremony at Toronto’s PawsWay, an education and events center sponsored by Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada.
While a similar medallion was placed around each dog’s neck, each animal had a different background story:
- Bella, a 2-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog from Milton, Nova Scotia, dragged her disabled owner out of a burning kitchen and to safety.
- Vicious, a 12-year-old border collie-Labrador mix, saved her owner from a mountain lion that entered their house through an open door.
- Snickers, a 4-year-old border collie-pointer mix from Oshawa, Ontario, broke out of his home and alerted neighbors to his unconscious owner, who was able to receive lifesaving medical attention.
- Teak, an 8-year-old German shepherd, was named Service Dog of the Year for taking down a knife-wielding robber who had escaped into a busy shopping area in Vancouver, British Columbia. Teak, then working as a police dog, was slashed across the neck several times.
“The tenacity of our 2013 inductees to rescue and protect people from harm … showcases the connection animals have to humans and the physical risks they will take to keep them safe,” says Mary Siemiesz, executive director of Purina PetCare Legacy.
The Purina Hall of Fame has inducted 132 dogs, 26 cats and one horse into its ranks since 1968.
Bella’s owner, Chris Larocque, called his dog “our family hero.”
“Without Bella’s devotion, strength and courage I would have died in the fire that destroyed my home,” Larocque said.
For more on the 2013 inductees and past inductees, go to Purina.ca/About/HallofFame.
(Bella, Vicious, Teak and Snickers)