Vote for Your Favorite 'Dog of Valor'
Finalists announced for Humane Society's canine badge of courage.
To dog owners, every canine is a hero -- inspiring humans and providing unconditional love every day. But certain dogs have gone to extraordinary lengths to exemplify the human-canine bond, by helping a person in need with incredible acts of heroism and bravery.
To shine the spotlight on these dogs -- and the intelligent, compassionate nature of all dogs -- the Humane Society of the United States is sponsoring the "Dogs of Valor" contest, now in its fourth year. After narrowing down the nominations, the HSUS has announced the contest's top 10 finalists, and online voting for the "People's Hero" award opens to the public on Friday, March 4.
Also, one lucky People's Hero voter will be randomly selected to receive a $100 gift certificate for The HSUS' online store, Humane Domain. All winners will be announced March 14.
Meet this year's Dogs of Valor Finalists:
* Ceili (Portland, Ore.) -- Stalled her owner as he tried to go upstairs to bed by nipping at his shorts and pulling off his shoe, preventing him from being alone when he had a massive heart attack.
* Coco (Summerfield, Fla.) -- Barked and clawed at his owner to alert him that the tractor-trailer in which they were sleeping was being consumed by flames.
* Diamond (Hayward, Calif.) -- Barked and alerted her owner when his second floor apartment was on fire, giving him just enough time to escape the flames and save his two daughters.
* Effie (Pine City, Minn.) -- Strained on her leash and pulled her owner 50 yards to a 94-year-old man who was unconscious and bleeding in his driveway.
* Emmett (Boise, Idaho) -- Drew attention by running around and barking right before his owner was about to snowmobile over a live wire than had fallen during a snow storm.
* Gangsta (Selden, N.Y.) -- Barked hysterically to get her family's attention when their daughter suffered a violent seizure in the shower and collapsed unconscious in a tub of scalding water.
* Sarge (Forsyth, Ill.) -- Woke his owner by barking and then led him to his daughter's room where there was an intruder lurking inside.
* Sirus (Conneaut, Ohio) -- Was shot after he aggressively barked until he was let outside, giving his owners time to hide their baby and grab a gun before intruders kicked their way into the home.
* Wyatt Earp (Royal Oak, Mich.) -- Alerted neighbors by barking incessantly when his 72-year-old owner collapsed and lost consciousness from dangerously low blood sugar during a winter evening walk.
* Yogi (Austin, Texas) -- Ran around and barked furiously until he got help for his owner who hit a bump and flipped over the handles of his mountain bike, paralyzing him from the chest down.
If you would like to cast your vote in the "Dogs of Valor" contest after Friday, March 4, or read more about these heroes' stories, visit humanesociety.org/dogsofvalor.
What do you think of these real-life Lassie stories? Are you planning to vote in the HSUS contest? Share your thoughts below!
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