For more than four decades, the Purina Animal Hall of Fame™ has honoured an elite group of pets and service dogs for their extraordinary acts of heroism and bravery, which have saved human lives. From sensing deadly medical conditions to saving their owners from wild animal attacks, more than 150 inductees have been recognized including 125 dogs, 25 cats - and one horse!
Since 1992, the program expanded to specifically recognize the key role of service dogs in protecting the public and providing independence, comfort and hope to so many Canadians. To date, 16 service dogs have been honoured for their acts of extreme bravery and courage.
New pet heroes are inducted annually into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame™ at a private ceremony in the spring.
The bond we share with pets can be lifesaving and inspiring. Come and learn about all the pet and service dog Inductees at PawsWay Pet Discovery Centre located at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, and the permanent home of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame™. Open year-round, general admission is free.
The five 2011 Purina Animal Hall of Fame™ Inductees join
146 heroic animals. Here are their stories.
K'os, a two-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff, was adopted by the Guindon family at three months of age. An obedient dog with a sweet temperament, K'os rarely barks or causes trouble. While he was originally brought into the household as a pet for the boys Chase and Hunter, K'os went from family pet to family hero when his quick-thinking saved Hunter's life.
In 2009, Linda and Jason Guindon's 14-year-old son, Hunter, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a critical condition that affects the lungs and can cause difficulty breathing. Three months following Hunter's diagnosis, Linda and Jason were awoken one night by K'os, who ran into their bedroom barking furiously and jumping on their bed. K'os then ran from Linda and Jason's bedroom to Hunter's room, and continued to bark while running back and forth between the rooms. Jason and Linda were immediately concerned by his behaviour, as K'os seldom barks and is usually very calm. Puzzled, Jason decided to go downstairs to check the front door, while Linda followed K'os into Hunter's room.
Linda turned on the lights to discover K'os standing over Hunter, who was violently convulsing. His face appeared grey in colour and he wasn't breathing. Hunter was having a severe seizure, and his mouth had filled with fluid, which was causing him to choke. Terrified, Linda immediately rushed to Hunter's side and turned him over to help clear his airway. Linda held her son and cried for Jason to call 911 while she continued to help clear Hunter's airway. Hunter was taken to the hospital, where it was determined that he had experienced a life-threatening grand mal seizure. Hunter had experienced seizures as a baby, but this was his first in over 11 years. Hunter was later diagnosed with epilepsy.
Linda and Jason truly believe that had it not been for K'os and his lightning-fast response to Hunter's seizure that frightful night, their son would not be with them today. Although the Guindons know that Hunter's epileptic episodes will continue, they take comfort in knowing that K'os is always by Hunter's side and will stay extra close when he is having a more difficult day. K'os is truly a member of the Guindon's family, not only as a beloved pet, but also as Hunter's true hero and protector.
Purina is committed to helping make pets' lives better all over the world. To find information about Purina in your area, select from the list below.