After postponing the heartwarming event last year due to the pandemic, Purina's Animal Hall of Fame returns in 2021

The stories of the latest inductees of the Purina Animal Hall of Fame remind Canadians of the selfless love of our loyal companions

TORONTO, July 27, 2021 /CNW/ - If the past year has proved anything, it's that Canadians turned to their pets for their ability to bring comfort and boundless joy to our lives during an uncertain time. It's no secret that dogs and cats help humans cope with difficult situations, but they are known to also help sustain better mental health and overall wellness for each and every one of us who welcome them into our lives and homes. And, while the beloved annual Purina Animal Hall of Fame event was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada is bringing this fan-favourite program back for 2021, welcoming four heroic hounds as the newest inductees, sharing their stories of heroism and courage.

"For 53 years, Purina has celebrated the extraordinary animals that amaze us with their life-saving acts," said Fiona Provan, Senior Manager of Public Relations & Corporate Communications, Nestlé Purina PetCare. "This program has always been a family favourite for our Purina colleagues and Canadian pet owners across the country. So, we're absolutely thrilled to be back this year to share these inspiring stories of unconditional love and loyalty."

The Purina Animal Hall of Fame is the longest running Canadian pet-recognition program in history, celebrating outstanding acts of animal heroism since 1968. To date and including this year's newest inductees, there have been 186 animals (158 dogs, 27 cats and one horse) inducted into the program. The four dogs joining the ranks in 2021 were inducted due to their incredible acts of perseverance, intuition and love, all which ultimately saved lives.

The 2021 Purina Animal Hall of Fame Inductees:

Paisley: A big hearted long-legged Shepherd Lab Husky mix

When Kari Gregory first adopted Paisley in 2015, she did not know that Paisley would eventually save her daughter's life. On the night of July 8th, 2019, shortly after everyone went to bed, Kari heard a loud thump in the kitchen, but ignored it, thinking it was her mischievous cat Millie. That's when she heard Paisley wailing, a sound the family had never heard before and have never heard since.

That night Paisley didn't sleep in her usual spot. Thinking Paisley had fallen or somehow injured herself in another part of the house, Kari jumped out of bed to find the dog. Instead, Kari found her daughter Perri lying on the kitchen floor having a seizure, something that had never happened before. Paisley was hovering around Perri and had been wailing to alert the family of the situation. Kari called out to her other daughters for help and Perri was rushed to the hospital where she then experienced a grand mal seizure. While at the hospital, the care team in charge of Perri discovered she had a brain bleed and a fractured skull from the initial fall, which actually broke the ceiling light in her bedroom below the kitchen from the impact.

Perri spent three days in the trauma unit and spent many, many weeks recovering from the incident.  But, today, Perri is alive and well thanks to Paisley's heroic actions. To this day Perri has never experienced another seizure episode and does not have a seizure disorder--the neurology team says this was a random occurrence. Paisley's insistent wailing and crying to wake the family that night saved Perri's life. For Paisley's heroic act of love, she is now an official inductee in the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.

Read the full story here.  

Bane: A spunky, loving nine-year-old pitbull

On a beautiful afternoon in May 2019, Ashley Gribble was hiking with Bane, her pitbull, her Jack Russel mix Milka, and three other dogs that were in her care when they encountered a predatory bear. By the time she realized the bear was there, he was standing five feet away from her. The bear proceeded to stalk Ashley and the dogs for 15 minutes, before finally climbing up a tree. Milka barked at the bear, allowing Ashley to quickly head back up onto the main trail.

Twenty minutes after the initial scare, Ashley turned around and shockingly saw the bear running towards her at full speed. When she tried to back away while discharging her bear-spray, she tripped and fell backwards. That's when Bane, her beloved pitbull, jumped in front of her in an attempt to save her from the bear.

The bear attacked Bane, picking him up in his jaws and sitting on him, pinning him by the back of his neck, all while Bane was yelping and crying in pain. Ashley grabbed a log and started beating the bear until Bane was let go, leaving her face-to-face with the bear. She then let out a bone-chilling scream, shocking the bear long enough for her to run away. Ashley rushed Bane to the emergency vet, where she discovered he had 26 puncture wounds from bites and scratches. It took six weeks of intensive care and rest for Bane to recover. If it was not for Bane's sacrificial and heroic act, Ashley truly believes she would not be here today.

Read the full story here.  

Kacey: An eight-year-old Labrador cross now known as the "Lake Erie Lab Shark"

Ken Jessop, lives in the small beach town of Crystal Beach, ON, right on the shores of Lake Erie, with his beloved companion Kacey, a Labrador cross who was known around town as "Mama Dog." During his daily routine, he typically would have a swim at the beach near his house. But, on August 28th, 2019, his day was anything but routine. Ken went to the beach, and was sitting in the shallow water, watching Kacey play on the sand. Suddenly, Ken was hit with a massive wave from an undertow that overtook him and dragged him into violent waters. He was struggling, choking on water, and unable to fight the crashing waves that had suddenly appeared. In an attempt to get to the surface, he reached out with his hands and grabbed a hold of something hard, which turned out to be the handle of the 'shark' life jacket on Kacey.  She had swam out 100 feet through the massive waves and now choppy water to save Ken and guide him to the shore. If it wasn't for Kacey's heroism, Ken wouldn't have survived this incident.  Now, Kacey is known as the "Lake Erie Lab Shark," and for her heroism she is being inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.

Read the full story here.  

Cupid: An eight-year-old Golden Retriever Lab mix

Ann Harrington's beloved Cupid was born with Swimmers Syndrome and has the intellectual capacity of a 12-week-old puppy. Although Cupid is differently-abled, he always brought great joy and fun to her and her family, and he even ended up saving their lives. On March 10th, 2020, Cupid woke the family up with uncharacteristic constant barking and growling in the middle of the night. When Ann finally awoke, she saw electric sparks coming from the light fixture in her bedroom. This led Ann and her husband to immediately shut off the main power switch to the home. But, Cupid kept making a fuss. And, all of a sudden Ann saw flames burning and growing from behind her walls. The family was able to put the fire out and called an electrician right away. But, had it not been for Cupid waking the family, they very likely would not have caught the fire before it was too late. Thanks to Cupid's persistence, the family caught the faulty wiring early enough and survived what could have been a deadly event. For his instinct and heroism, Cupid is being inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.

Read the full story here.  

To learn more about the Purina Animal Hall of Fame and this years' stories, please visit
www.purinahalloffame.ca.

About Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada

Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada creates richer lives for pets and the people who love them. Founded in 1894, Purina has helped dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by offering scientifically based nutritional innovations. Purina manufactures some of the world's most trusted and popular pet care products, including Purina ONE, Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and TIDY Cats.

Purina promotes responsible pet care through our scientific research, our products and our support for pet-related organizations across Canada.

Purina is part of Nestlé, a global leader in Nutrition, Health and Wellness. For more information, visit purina.ca.  

SOURCE PURINA

For further information: To request an interview, learn more about the 2021 inductees or obtain photography please contact: Fiona Provan, Senior Manager, Public Relations & Corporate Communications, Nestlé Purina PetCare, 905.287.3821, [email protected]

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