Nothing inspires quite like the resilience of an abandoned dog. With support from the right people, they can move past physical and emotional trauma from abuse and neglect.
Ethan, the rescue dog whose story of overcoming severe neglect and malnourishment inspired people (and animals) across the world, could become an “official hero.” The pup was recently nominated for a 2022 American Humane Hero Dog Award.
Ethan was found dumped in the parking lot of the Kentucky Humane Society on a cold January day in 2021. He was so weak, he couldn’t even lift his head on his own to eat or drink. Starvation had completely sapped him of his ability to walk.
His bio description on the American Humane website states: “[Ethan] was actively dying. He only weighed 38lbs. He should’ve been over 80lbs.” According to genetic testing results, Ethan is a mix of Presa Canario, Mastiff, Argentine Dogo, Bull Dog, Cane Corso, and American Staffordshire Terrier in his DNA.
“With each day, though, he kept fighting to stay alive. He had an unimaginable determination to keep persevering through seemingly insurmountable odds. His incredible will to live inspired thousands of people around the world that had begun following his story.”
Slowly, Ethan gained weight until eventually he could walk, run, and play. Ethan’s recovery story inspired people everywhere, and he soon gathered a fanbase. Jeff, a KHS employee who ended up adopting Ethan, explained:
“His journey has inspired people that have never met him to send me letters and emails detailing how his battle to keep living inspired them to overcome some incredible odds in their lives. I take him everywhere I go and he instantly puts a smile on people’s faces as soon as they see him.The happiness that he brings to people has been a life changing thing for me.”
Ethan now goes with Jeff to work, offering emotional support to other rescue animals struggling with medical limitations. Sounds like a hero dog to me!
Ethan’s Award Nomination
Every year, the American Humane Hero Dog Awards draws attention to amazing animals like Ethan, from the abuse survivors to the therapy dogs to the battlefield heroes.
There are several award categories in the American Humane Hero Dog Awards, and Ethan was nominated in the “shelter” category. His competition includes a blind and deaf rescue dog named Raina, a 17-year-old dog named Bella who lives with a jaw deformity, and a paralyzed Frenchie “Miss Maude.”
The first round of voting is currently open and closes May 18th, 2022. You can vote once per day per email address. A vote for Ethan is a vote for survivors of starvation and neglect everywhere! That said, it seems like all the nominees are true hero dogs.