I’m honored to be once again part of the presentation of the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards. If you didn’t make the live event, don’t worry; the Hallmark Channel will be airing it on Friday, Oct. 28, at 8 PM Eastern/Pacific Time, 7 PM Central.
The winners include “Emerging Hero” Hooch, a dog who overcame terrible abuse to become a loving ambassador and therapy dog:
Hooch is a French Mastiff with badly cropped ears, a broken tail, no tongue and the brightest spirit you’ll ever encounter. Zach Skow, of Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue, was alerted about him by a shelter in Bakersfield, and was told that the dog wouldn’t eat or drink, and would instead thrash his food and water bowls around like a maniac.
By the time he was pulled to freedom, he was 35 pounds underweight – starving, dehydrated and severely malnourished. Never thinking to check for a missing tongue, they thought he might have a broken or dislocated jaw that was causing his behavior. When taken to the vet, he was sedated to ready him for x-rays, and the gruesome discovery was made… Hooch’s tongue had been savagely removed at its base, likely in an attempt to prime him for the role of a bait dog.
After using a feeding tube (Hooch kept yanking it out) it was discovered that Hooch could be hand-fed! He tilts his head back while Zach has a handful of food and places it in the back of Hooch’s throat and they let gravity do the rest.
Hooch stands for overcoming adversity, bravery and living in the moment. He spends many hours with Marley’s Mutts Miracle Mutts division, as a therapy dog. He works with autistic, abused and special needs children. Hooch is known for showing patience and kindness and is proof that anything can be overcome. He is our hero and the best mascot for bravery around.
You’ll also meet the Hero Vet, Dr. Natalie Isaza, and Hero Veterinary Technician, Kim Knap!
The show is emceed by Beth Stern and James Denton. Get the full details of the broadcast here. You won’t want to miss it!