Purina Animal Hall of Fame – 2018 Inductees

At Purina, we understand that pets and people have a remarkable connection – and it’s this unique bond that is celebrated through the Purina Animal Hall of Fame. The Purina Animal Hall of Fame is the longest running Canadian pet recognition program of its kind. To date, 179 remarkable animals with outstanding lifesaving acts of animal courage and heroism have been inducted.

This year, Purina is pleased to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Animal Hall of Fame by inducting four new heroic hounds who have exemplified these extraordinary qualities to save a human life. The 2018 Purina Animal Hall of Fame inductees, Sabrina, Arik, and Ruth and Lady, were honoured at a special red carpet awards ceremony on May 14th, 2018 in Toronto.

In advance of the event, each inductee was surprised in their hometown with the news that they had been selected to receive their medal of honour in Toronto and a year supply of Purina dog food.

Meet @PurinaCanada’s 2018 real life #PetHeroes. Watch, enjoy and share their stories!

Ruth & Lady | Okanagan Valley, British Columbia


Ruth and Lady, a two-year-old Akbash/Yellow Labrador/Border Collie cross and a seven-year-old Yellow Labrador/Border Collie cross respectively, demonstrated their incredible intelligence and ability to communicate quickly and effectively, the night they saved their owner Matthew Smith’s life, following a near-fatal car accident. LEARN MORE >>

Sabrina | Saint-Laurent, Quebec


Sabrina, a 12-year-old Whippet’s loyalty and aptitude was put to the ultimate test when her owner Adele Schwartz had a horrific, almost fatal fall in the middle of the night. LEARN MORE >>

Arik| Baddeck, Nova Scotia


Arik, an eight-year-old German Shepherd’s natural instinct and highly refined sense of hearing and smell were put to the ultimate test when he came to the rescue of an elderly man who faced a near-fatal situation. LEARN MORE >>

What Were They Thinking? The Science Behind Their Actions

According to Ragen T.S. McGowan, a Senior Scientist in the Behaviour Group at Purina, dogs that are closely bonded with their human companions often show motivation to help them during times of need.

Dogs are able to look at subtle body signs such as change in breathing rate and posture in their owners to detect help is needed, which is how Ruth and Lady knew Matthew needed help keeping warm.

Sabrina, known to be a quite quiet dog, was able to use strong communication skills through her body language and signal something was wrong to wake up Adele’s husband after she fell.

Arik, a former police dog, is an amazing example of a dog’s senses and instinct. Arik was able to immediately track down Lloyd after Calvin let him sniff around Lloyd’s truck, using a keen sense of smell and visual cues such as tracks in the snow.

In all cases, these dogs went above and beyond, and were able to use their natural abilities to help their owners in dire situations.

Honourable Mentions

Koby, a five-year-old German Shepherd, Border Collie and Husky mix has made a significant impact on the life and wellbeing of his owner, Emily Sweet. After enduring bullying, severe depression and anxiety during her high school years, Emily rescued Koby, trained him to be her service dog and petitioned to have him join her at school. LEARN MORE >>

Smiley was a beloved therapy dog who was known for his irresistible grin and ability to put smiles on the faces of those he met. Born without eyes and a form of canine dwarfism, Smiley was being rescued and adopted by his owner Joanne George. Smiley has helped countless people, comforting hospital patients, children with autism, and those living in nursing homes alike LEARN MORE >>

Watch the 50th Anniversary Ceremony Live!