Over a million Americans voted for their favorite ‘Hero Dog’ finalist this year—and after a deliberating VIP panel of dog experts and judges, the winner was finally picked and crowned the winner at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards gala in Palm Beach, Florida this month.
The winner's name is Boone a four-year-old hound mix from Pennsylvania.
Boone, survived a heartbreaking treatment as a puppy, he beat out more than 400 other competitors from across the country to win the award. There were finalists from 7 categories that went head-to-head collecting votes from the public—Law Enforcement / Detection Dogs, Service Dogs, Military Dogs, Search & Rescue Dogs, Shelter Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, and, Therapy Dogs, which was Boone’s category.
Boone’s two back legs were amputated after being abused, and he was fostered by a family who took care of animals with special needs.
“He was calm as calm could be,” said Tanya Diable, his foster mom, who was so moved by the pup that she adopted him two days later.
Boone’s family had him fitted with a wheelchair to him be able to move around, which immediately changed him.
Charley Diable said it was the first time he ever wagged his tail—and he’s been a dog on a mission ever since.
“The light bulb just clicked,” says Tanya. “He was amazing after that.”
Boone's has such a sweet nature and enthusiasm for life which made him perfect for earning a certificate to become a therapy dog. He now goes to children’s hospitals to help reduce stress in others.
Boone is also an ambassador for the nonprofit Joey’s P.A.W. (Prosthetics and Wheels), that provides mobility devices to more than 700 dogs that are in need in Pittsburgh, across the country and globally.
He is also helping to erase perceptions around disabled dogs and their adoptability.