There were 407 canine competitors for the title at the the American Humane Hero Dog Awards: 10th Anniversary Celebration.
MacKenzie, a Chihuahua who weighs only 4 pounds, has been declared as the country's "most heroic canine" among 407 canine competitors for the title at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards: 10th Anniversary Celebration last week. The event was hosted by Carson Kressley on the Hallmark Channel. MacKenzie, the winner, was chosen through a combination of public votes and a panel of celebrity animal lovers, that included Jamie Chung, Erik Estrada, Danielle Fishel, Daniel Henney, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Marcus Scribner, Alexa and Carlos PenaVega and Ariel Winter, as per PEOPLE.
MacKenzie was declared the "most heroic canine" in America by a combination of public voting and a panel of celebrity judges! @etodisco15 tells the story of little MacKenzie in @people: https://t.co/bUj2VCUeZU @HeroDogAwards #HeroDogAwards— American Humane (@AmericanHumane) October 29, 2020
"The American Humane Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the world’s most extraordinary heroes," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization. "These heroic canines have gone above and beyond the call of duty, saving lives on the battlefield, comforting the ill and aged, and reminding us of the powerful, age-old bond between animals and people. All seven category winners exemplify what it means to be a hero, and we hope that their stories–including MacKenzie’s — will inspire people to value our animal friends and recognize how much they do for us every day."
SHE WOULD GET MY VOTE— Lauren (@hightlauren) October 26, 2020
MacKenzie, the Chihuahua, was born in Hilton, New York. She had a cleft palate at the time of her birth and struggled with contracting aspiration pneumonia, which almost cost her her life. However, MacKenzie managed to overcome her birth defect and other health issues and eventually began working for The Mia Foundation - a non-profit that rescues and nurtures animals born with birth defects who cannot be with their mothers physically. "Her job is to provide love and care for baby rescue animals born with birth defects," the American Humane shared in a release.
My vet told me to euthanize a cleft lip puppy in my recent litter of rare Kromfohrlanders. Mia Foundation took her in and raised her, now she lives with fellow Kromi owners in the PNW, who also have 2 adopted kids with cleft lips. From heartbreak comes love. ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/sm5uKK3MJK— 🧛♀️ Scary Mary in Ann Arbooooooor 🦇🦇🦇 (@MaryinAnnArbor) October 24, 2020
"MacKenzie takes an interest in each baby from day one, no matter the species or size. She plays nurse and cleans, comforts, and cuddles them. She acts as their mother and teaches them how to socialize, play, and have good manners." Not only does MacKenzie take care of animals with birth defects, but she also interacts with children at schools, teaching them how to be open-minded toward animals and people with physical differences. "They learn kindness, patience, and that you can make a difference in the world no matter how small you are," said the American Humane.
Aww, I had a doggy just like this. His name was Cozzi!— Judy E. Manisco, RD, LDN (@JEMNutrition) October 27, 2020
They further said: "MacKenzie may have lost her ability to bark, but she still makes herself heard and speaks for other animals born with defects and she is a shining example of how rescuing animals often helps save more than just one life." The American Humane Hero Dog Awards also gave prizes to 2020's top therapy dog, service dog, military dog, guide/hearing dog, law enforcement dog, and search and rescue dog. Carolyn Cunningham Pool shared on Facebook: So proud of you, Kenzie! You are a true blessing to all those babies who need to be sMOTHERed in love. Congratulations to all the winners!
MacKenzie is not the only one teaching us lessons in empathy and kindness. Eight-month-old Lana is another example. When the weather in Brazil got chilly, Lana gave up the thick blanket her owner draped her in for her new friend. So when her owner's fiancé stepped out to head to work, he saw that Lana had dragged the blanket outside to share it with another dog who lives on the streets. Her owner, Schaumloeffel, remarked: "My best four-legged friend reminded me of something so important: generosity!