By: KDKA-TV Senior Web Producer Heather Lang
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Butler County beagle, known for looking dapper in bow ties, is the nation’s top hero dog.READ MORE: Furry Tails: Boone’s Bow Ties And Wheels
Bow Tie Boone, a 4-year-old hound, took home the top trophy last night at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards gala, held in Florida.
He beat out more than 400 dogs across the country for the top title. The competition started back in March. The nominees are placed in seven categories: Law Enforcement and Detection Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs and Shelter Dogs.
The public along with a panel of dog experts and celebrity animal lovers are then allowed to vote. Round after round. More than one million votes were cast this year, according to American Humane.
Boone claimed the top spot in the Therapy category over the summer; and because of your votes, he is now the nation’s 2021 Hero Dog.
Of Boone, American Humane writes, “Congratulations to Boone, the 2021 American Hero Dog! Despite the challenges he was forced to overcome, Boone’s sweet nature and enthusiasm for life never quit, and his story of resilience made him a perfect fit for his new profession as a therapy dog. Boone inspires those around him every day to overcome the obstacles life throws in their path. Show this true Hero Dog some love!”
The journey to this award has not been an easy one for Boone.
As a puppy in Texas, Boone’s back legs were horrifically cut off in an act of unspeakable cruelty. Boone survived the trauma and was eventually transferred north to be placed in a foster home.
That was a life changing moment for Boone. It was also a life changing moment for his fosters.
Just a few hours into the ride home from Scranton with their new foster, Boone’s adopters realized it was just meant to be. They went from fosters to Boone’s official family a few days later.
Boone’s owner, Tanya Diable, eventually got her pup fitted for some wheels to help him get around. Equipped with a new wheelchair, Boone was able to train to become a therapy dog for children living with disabilities. Just like himself.
He’s also become the ambassador for Joey’s PAW, which is Tanya’s charity. It raises money to provide dogs with wheelchairs and prosthetics. So far, it has helped more than 700 dogs with handicaps.
Boone’s story of resilience and love, his gentle way with children, his welcoming nature, his excitement for life and his endless courage and hope, have taken him from the victim of cruelty to just plain hero.
Boone is the little dog that persevered and kept right on loving through the shadows of life. He has a lot to teach us all.
He was born to help others. If that’s not a hero, then what is?
Congratulations to Boone and the Diables! Keep spreading joy to all of us.
For more information about Joey’s PAW, visit their website here.
You can follow Boone on Instagram!