Pit Bull Named American Hero Dog – Meet Elle, the Therapy Dog

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From Hero Dog Awards on Facebook

On Saturday night in a star-studded celebration, eight dogs were honored for their service and heroism at the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

This Year’s American Hero Dog

Elle, a therapy dog from Roanoke Rapids, NC, took home the title of American Hero Dog. Elle works with children, teaching them dog safety, helping them build confidence reading, and spreading the word about overcoming stereotypes — something Pit Bulls know quite a bit about.

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“The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the most extraordinary heroes the world has ever known, the very best of our ‘best friends’ – ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane Association. “As an organization that for years has fought breed-specific legislation (BSL), we are also pleased to honor a breed that has been often been unjustly maligned. We hope that Elle’s story will help to underscore the many tremendously positive qualities of this breed.”

The win comes at an opportune time, with October being Pit Bull Awareness Month.

Elle won $6,500 for her charity partner, the nonprofit organization, Hand in Paw. The event will be broadcast by the Hallmark Channel on October 30, at 8 pm/7 Central.

The other seven finalists honored at the ceremony were:

Cassidy, a dog from Midvale, UT, whose front leg was amputated. He now visits rehab centers to spread comfort and teach about disabilities.

Jingles, from Amsterdam, NY, works as one half of a guide dog team for a multiply disabled woman.

Lola, a hearing dog who lives in Bellingham, WA, helping her deaf owner navigate the world.

K9 Lakota, a retired police dog from Locust Grove, GA, who helped in more than 80 apprehensions, 28 drug seizures, and the recovery of stolen property.

CWD Carlos EDD from Colorado Springs, CO, an explosive detection dog, now retired, who worked with the US Army’s 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions and the US Special Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for almost five years. He’s credited with saving countless lives while on duty.

John D, a search-and-rescue dog from Little Rock, AK, who has located missing people. He now helps to sniff out ovarian cancer and other cancers.

Bronx, from Brunswick, GA is a service dog to a young boy who suffers from seizures and vision loss.

Do you know a dog who’s changed lives?

Share in the comments below!