Last week the ASPCA (The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) presented their 2010 awards at their Humane Awards Luncheon, held in New York City at the Pierre Hotel on Thursday, November 11th. The awards are presented to seven outstanding animals and people. Of the seven award winners, two of the recipients are from the Los Angeles area.
The Hartville Group, one of America’s oldest pet health insurers, sponsored the awards. Awards are given to those who demonstrate extraordinary courage whether it is an animal hero or an individual, who has made an impact on the lives of animals.
The Humane Award winners are:
ASPCA Dog of the Year: Presented to Pearl a black Labrador and handler Los Angeles County Firefighter Ron Horetski, who assisted in the rescue of human lives in Haiti after the devastating earthquake, hit that country. Pearl was a shelter dog, turned search and rescue dog, who now helps rescue and save humans caught in the wake of a disaster.
ASPCA Cat of the Year: Awarded to Henry, a stray kitten found by Cathy Conheim in Julian, CA, who was unable to move his left leg that ultimately was amputated. The two began working to help people learn to cope with physical disabilities. The pair created several children’s books, which have been distributed to over 45,000 people around the world, including victims of Hurricane Katrina and families of wounded Veterans. Henry’s books have generated more than $50,000 for local animal welfare groups to assist other animals in need.
ASPCA “Tommy P. Monahan” Kid of the Year: After the worst oil spill in American history, Olivia Bouler, an 11-year old from Islip, New York came up with the idea to help birds affected in the Gulf Coast by creating about 500 watercolor illustrations to raise funds and awareness for the wildlife affected by the disaster. Olivia sent an original watercolor to those who made a donation to Audubon. Shortly after, AOL helped her promote her cause by distributing a limited edition print to anyone who donated to her fundraiser. Between her campaign and Facebook Page, “Save the Gulf” she has raised over $180,000 for various organizations that provide wildlife disaster relief.
ASPCA Public Service Award: Awarded to Firefighters of Ladder 116 in Queens, New York for saving cats and dogs caught in a fire at U. S. Pet Discounts Pet Store.
ASPCA Henry Bergh Award: Kathleen Schwartz-Howe was awarded this award for helping save the lives of equines in her community of Woodbine, Md. Kathleen founded Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc. This non-profit organization is dedicated to caring and treating horses through intervention, education and outreach and has rescued and rehabilitated 50-70 horses at any given time.
ASPCA Presidential Service Awards: Two award winners.
Sam Simon of The Sam Simon Foundation in Sherman Oaks was awarded this award for Sam’s work in saving dogs from animal shelters so they can enrich the lives of people, who are deaf or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition Sam Simon established a mobile spay/neuter clinic. This clinic is one of the largest providers of free spay and neuter services in the Los Angeles area.
Julia Ryan and Clark Burgard, two pilots who created Animal Rescue Flights in Norwalk, Conn were award recipients for their help in saving homeless animals at risk. They accomplish this by transporting unwanted animals from shelters to other parts of the country to people who are waiting to adopt these animals.
Pearl winning Dog of the Year and Sam Simon obtaining the Presidential Service Award represents an outstanding achievement that those of us in Los Angeles should be extremely proud of.