Top Dogs Honored With AKC Humane Fund Awards For Canine Excellence

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
When it comes to going above and beyond what’s expected, these five heroic dogs came to the rescue. Whether they saved, protected or enriched our lives, these ACE winners are tops in our book.

The American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Humane Fund Awards takes “best in class” to an entirely different level with their acknowledgement of canine excellence that has nothing to do with his outer physical appearance but more his inner personal strengths.

Yes, the 16th annual Canine Excellence awards commemorate five hard-working boys that have significantly impacted the lives of their owners and the people in their communities.

Related: American Airlines Stops Hero Service Dog From Boarding Plane Home

The categories used to judge these deserving dogs include: Uniformed Service K-9, Service, Therapy, Search and Rescue and Exemplary Companion dog with each recipient of the award receiving $1,000 to be awarded to a pet-related charity of their choice, a one year pet insurance policy from Pet Partners, Inc. and an engraved sterling silver medallion that will be officially presented to him during the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, Florida on Saturday and Sunday, December 12-13, 2015.

This year’s winners include a Military Working Dog that protects Presidents, a Great Dane that helps his young owner walk, a therapy dog that comforts military members and their loved ones, a human remains detection dog that brings closure to families and a show dog that serves as an ambassador for purebred dogs.

Related: New Bill Introduced To Bring Retired Military Dogs Home After Overseas Combat

Brief Bios on these brave boys:

Uniformed Service K-9: Pablo is a nine-year-old Belgian Malinois Military Working Dog, who has been certified as a Patrol/Explosive Detection Dog and works with the Marine Corps Police Department in Albany, Georgia. Considered part of the Secret Service, he has protected President Obama, President Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This busy boy also watches over Former President Carter while he teaches Bible Studies and attends numerous school career days, non-profit and charity events in his community.

Service Dog: George is a Great Dane who was trained by the Service Dog Project to help the mobility impaired. Paired with a young girl suffering from a rare genetic disorder that makes mobility exceptionally difficult and requires she undergo multiple surgeries, George has helped her gain confidence, independence and happiness. Before his arrival, she used a wheelchair or crutches to move around, but George has given her the strength and determination to walk and take part in activities she otherwise would not have been able to do.

Therapy Dog: Wynd is a Rottweiler and proud therapy dog working at The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) National Seminar in DC for the past three Memorial Days. This big boy has also volunteered at the Survivor Outreach Service booth at military events and is a regular at the Hampton Veterans Hospital Domiciliary program where he comforts veterans with PTSD and substance abuse issues. During the school year, Wynd attends his area Humane Society’s BARKS reading program which encourages a love of reading and helps kids overcome their fear of dogs.

Search and Rescue Dog: Ty is a German Shepherd Dog who is officially known as K-9 Ty. This eight-year-old is trained in human remains detection and over his six year career has helped to bring closure to countless families that have lost loved ones. With over 60 missions on his resume, his specialty is water recovery but this beautiful pooch is also cross-trained for live find search and disaster work, and serves as the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue public relations dog. Hero aside, Ty’s a typical dog who just loves all the attention he gets after putting on demonstrations.

Exemplary Companion Dog: Mufasa is a Bernese Mountain who was the proud recipient of Best of Breed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2014.In his role as “ambassador”, Mufasa greets visitors to his owners’ dog wash business and provides a living, breathing example of the importance of responsible breeders, helping his community learn more about the AKC. This gentle giant is an excellent example of how approachable a well-trained breed can be and how responsible breeders can be an ideal way to introduce a healthy and happy dog to the family.

AKC Spokesperson Gina DiNardo confirms that. “Each dog’s devotion to their work and the impact they make in their community is an inspiration to dog lovers everywhere.”

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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