Well, the day has come and the votes have been cast. The official winner was declared. I’m of course talking about the American Humane Hero Dog Awards. What else would I be referring to?
Over 407 dogs competed for the title of the country’s Most Heroic Canine at the 10th Anniversary Celebration for the ceremony on the Hallmark Channel. The award went to MacKenzie, a Chihuahua who weighs just 4 pounds.
A combination of public votes and a celebrity panel determined the winner. Among that list of famous animal lovers: Jamie Chung, Erik Estrada, Danielle Fishel, Daniel Henney, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Marcus Scribner, Alexa, and Carlos PenaVega, and Ariel Winter.
MacKenzie: The Deserving Little Hero
Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, explained why MacKenzie was the clear choice for this particular award.
“The American Humane Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the world’s most extraordinary heroes. 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.”
Not only did MacKenzie win the top title in her individual category, becoming the country’s “Hero Shelter Dog of the Year.” In addition to that, she took the American Humane Hero Dog Awards’ top title of “2020’s American Hero Dog.” She really cleaned up!
Overcoming Her Challenges To Help Others In Need
When MacKenzie was born in Hilton, New York, she had a cleft palate and struggled with aspiration pneumonia. The tiny little Chihuahua, just 3 ounces at the time, almost died. Before surgery to fix her palate, she had to be fed through a tube. But MacKenzie’s a survivor, and she overcame her birth defect and health issues.
Mackenzie soon started working with The Mia Foundation, a non-profit that specializes in helping animals with birth defects who cannot physically be with their mothers. According to a release from American Humane:
“Her job is to provide love and care for baby rescue animals born with birth defects. 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.”
MacKenzie also works with children at schools, showing them it’s okay to be a little different. American Humane said:
“They learn kindness, patience, and that you can make a difference in the world no matter how small you are.”
I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a hero award. Congrats MacKenzie!
Watch her touching story in this video:
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Featured Image: @LoveForMiaCleftPalateChihuahua/Facebook
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