Americans Salute Their Favorite Hero Dogs at Paws To Recognize Canine World Heroes Tribute

The Humane Society of the United States
Thursday, 21 August 2003

"Crazy Joe," a narcotic detector dog with Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, and the top-voted U.S. service dog in the Paws to Recognize program, was honored along with canine heroes from 7 countries and Puerto Rico at a special Canine World Heroes Tribute held today at The Humane Society of the United States. Created by PEDIGREE Food for Dogs in partnership with Wal-Mart, the international program recognizes the valuable contributions that some 15,000 professionally trained service dogs make to our lives each day. "Crazy Joe" and the other canine world heroes were honored in a medal ceremony that included Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner. The Paws to Recognize tribute concluded with dogs representing the United States, Great Britain, Germany, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Puerto Rico placing their paw prints in cement to create a Hollywood-style Canine World Heroes Walk of Fame.

"We are pleased to be part of the Paws to Recognize program and to have had the opportunity to work with these wonderful dogs and the men and women who train them," said Chris Jones, Marketing Director for the Pet Food Division at Masterfoods, USA, makers of PEDIGREE. "We hope that Paws to Recognize helps to increase awareness and appreciation of the many services these dogs perform and the valuable contributions they make to our lives." "Crazy Joe", who was adopted from an animal shelter, is currently assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. During his six-year career, the yellow Labrador Retriever has managed to uncover a total of over $10 million worth of illegal drugs. He has also held the coveted position of "demo" dog, helping to reach school age children with information about the dangers of narcotics.

Selected from a total of six U.S. canine finalists representing Search & Rescue Dogs, Guide Dogs, Assistance Dogs, Animal-Assisted Therapy Dogs and Police and Government K-9s, "Crazy Joe" received the most votes from the Americans across the country who logged on to pedigree.com to vote in the Paws to Recognize program. Voting began on April 15 and ran through July 15.

In addition to the United States, outstanding National Canine World Heroes honored at today's tribute included: Bassett Hound "Popeye," a Pet-Assisted Therapy dog from Puerto Rico; "Gemma," a Search and Rescue Dog from the U.K.; "Buhn-gye," a Search and Rescue Dog from South Korea; "Shadow," a Hero Canine from Canada; Gem, a guide dog for the blind from Brazil; and Mexico's "Yuma," a retired Search and Rescue Dog turned Pet-Assisted Therapy Dog.

"We believe the Paws to Recognize program will expand everyone's appreciation and support for the contributions that all dogs make to our lives," said Melissa Seide Rubin, vice president of field and disaster services at The Humane Society of the United States. "Some of the dogs nominated were adopted, and we hope to inspire many more people to consider adopting from a local animal shelter when they're ready to bring a pet into their home."

To learn more about "Crazy Joe," the Canine World Heroes from other countries and the Canine World Heroes Tribute, people can log on to pedigree.com. The website includes photos and information about each dog and provides a view into the many ways these talented and dedicated canines serve humankind.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization with over seven million members and constituents.

The country's number-one brand of dog food, Pedigree Food for Dogs is manufactured by Masterfoods USA a division of Mars, Incorporated.

For more information, or to contact The Humane Society of the United States, see their website at: www.hsus.org

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