John D proudly wearing the cross he earned for the rescue and recovery of a missing person.
We need your support! John D is a finalist for the overall 2013 Hero Dog Award, sponsored by the American Humane Association.
A win for John D is a win for all service dogs, as prizes will go to the Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve. The Sage Foundation cares for dogs who are no longer able to continue their work. Help John D help his (and our!) friends!!
Please help John D win the overall Hero Dog Award by casting your vote each day.
We're so excited to tell you John D has been recognized for his boundless commitment to search and rescue! As you might recall, John D wrote a moving letter asking for your support as he entered the 2013 Hero Dog Award contest. We absolutely could not have done it without you and your votes, so thank you so much for helping JohnD, our team, and the Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve gain national visibility through the American Humane Society.
Voting for the overall Hero Dog of the Year begins on August 6th. We'll post the voting link soon!
John D will have Hollywood producers visit in August to showcase his talents. Stay tuned for upcoming news, images and video.
I am a nominee for The American Humane Association 2013 Hero Dog of the Year. I started life in a shelter, then got adopted and started my career as a Search and Rescue dog 4 1/2 years ago. I find missing and deceased people during tragedies. I also get called in for water recoveries after someone has drowned. I am the one who finds the victim so their family can have closure. It is always terribly sad, but I feel it's my calling to help people. One of those searches made a very deep impression on my heart. A mother whispered to me that I was her only hope to find her child. She put her faith in dogs. Then she hugged me and we looked straight into each other's eyes. There was a bond I can't describe, but it was there. At that moment, I made a silent promise that I would not let her down.
I went out on the river and we searched for hours. Each time we got to a certain place on the water, I dipped my head and touched it with my nose. Everyone on the boat knew what that meant. But the tough part for a search team is that you can't confirm anything to the family until the victim is brought up out of the water and identified. Sometimes we find a person, but it isn't the person we thought we were looking for. Sometimes, it is too dangerous to recover the victim and there is nothing you can do. But I'd made a promise and I knew who I had found. I had to figure out a way to gently tell that mom that her son was no longer missing, but he would never come home again.
ASDA is a 501c(3) that uses canine scent capabilities to serve human needs. We specialize in search and rescue and cancer research.