Meet the Finalists for The HSUS's Pets of Valor Award

The votes have been counted: You chose Chilly to win The Pets of Valor Award

But all the finalists are heroes. And if you haven't read their stories, take a few minutes to get to know them now. And keep your eye out for next year’s Pet of Valor—he or she may be at a shelter or rescue near you.

The HSUS’s Pets of Valor Award celebrates the bonds between people and their rescued or adopted pets by shining the spotlight on a few of the acts of bravery and devotion that happen all the time.

In appreciation of the shelters and rescues that cared for these wonderful pets, BOGO Bowl is donating 500 pounds of dog food to the shelter or rescue chosen by Chilly's family.


Chilly—Heidi Parker, Palmyra, Va. (Adopted from the Fluvanna SPCA)

What Heidi remembers is being surprised that her normally polite dog, Chilly, was urgently whining, licking her face, and pawing at her.More...

Heidi was napping after getting an allergy shot—along with a higher than usual dose of antihistamine. About an hour later, the 3-year-old English bulldog mix became alarmed and did everything she could to wake her. By the time Chilly succeeded, Heidi’s throat was so swollen that she could barely breathe. She was having a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction to the allergy injection. If Chilly hadn’t roused her, Heidi’s throat could have closed completely, suffocating her while she slept. Instead, she managed to call 911 and get treatment in time. After returning from the hospital, Heidi updated her Facebook page: “I want to thank the FSPCA [the Fluvanna SPCA ] for allowing me to rescue Chilly... I’m not sure who rescued who here but Chilly is definitely my Guardian angel!” Less.



Mabeline—Mary Callahan, St. Petersburg, Fla. (Adopted from Friends of Strays Animal Shelter)

The grassy area behind the shelter had always been a safe place for volunteers to walk dogs. More...

But when a 17-year-old volunteer took Mabeline, a 3-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback mix, out for exercise one day, a registered sexual offender appeared, pulled her down by her ponytail, and attacked her. Mabeline started to run away, but when the girl called for help, Mabeline sprang into action, barking and growling at the attacker until he fled. The attacker was arrested, and Mabeline was adopted by Mary Callahan, who had no idea how brave her sweet dog could be. When Mary was told about the rescue, she recalls, she looked at Mabeline and thought, "You’re a hero." Less



Lilly—Amanda Timoney, Beachwood, N.J. (Adopted from Joe Joe’s Place)

Dona Timoney’s daughter believes nobody saw her mother fall into the deep bog grasses. Nobody but Dona’s one-year-old pit bull mix, Lilly. More...

When Frank Delarosa walked up to the anxious dog on a path in Double Trouble State Park, he grabbed her leash and tried to take her to a park ranger, but Lilly dragged him 150 yards to where the unconscious Dona lay. “She started licking the lady’s face,” Delarosa remembers, “That dog was unbelievable.” At the hospital, Dona was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. And though she passed away 12 days later, Lilly had made sure that she was found and gave her family time to spend with her before saying goodbye. Dona’s daughter, Amanda, is keeping Lilly in the family. “Some people said to me after my mother died, ‘I hope you can find her a good home’….She’s got a home.” Less


Rocky—Dawn and Floyd Tibbetts, Susanville, Calif. (Adopted from Lassen Humane Society’s Pups on Parole program)

Dawn Tibbetts didn’t like her husband Floyd’s hikes into the woods to hunt for rocks until they adopted Rocky, a 4-year-old Labrador retriever and hiking partner. More...

Prison inmates in the “Pups on Parole” program had brought trust into the life of the abused dog who’d been dumped at the shelter with lead shot in his hip, so Rocky bonded deeply with his new family. On one of Floyd and Rocky’s many remote expeditions, a low heart rate made Floyd collapse. Licking his face and hands continuously to keep the disoriented Floyd awake, it took Rocky more than seven hours to guide him back to his truck. After the pair finally made it home, Floyd was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he received a pacemaker. Dawn believes that if Rocky hadn’t “stayed by his side, Floyd would have died in the woods and we would have never found him.” Less


Taz—Kathy Rinehart and John Scheffler, Lancaster, Pa. (Rescued as a stray, later cared for by the Humane League of Lancaster County)

When the fire started, everyone was asleep and the smoke-alarm batteries were dead. Only the cat Taz noticed.More...

The 6-year-old tabby walked into Kathy and John’s bedroom and let out a “horrible cry” over and over, not budging while the room filled with smoke until he woke up John. After waking Kathy and her daughter, John picked up Taz and ran for the door. The family then used the time Taz had given them to rescue six more pets—cats, dogs, and hamsters. But they couldn’t save two of their cats. A fireman told Kathy they all would have died if Taz hadn’t sounded the alarm. The family was separated for three months while their house was rebuilt, but the Humane League of Lancaster cared for their cats free of charge and another shelter took their dogs. Kathy says being separated from her pets, especially Taz, “was the worst experience for us.” Less


Sponsored by BOGO Bowl. Buy a bag of quality dog food, and BOGO Bowl donates a bag to shelter or rescue pets.