Elle the therapy dog teaches children about dog safety, reading, and overcoming prejudice
Each year, the American Humane Association honors American Hero Dogs, and this year’s winner is a Pitbull named Elle. She’s a therapy dog that travels around the country, teaching children about dog safety, reading, and overcoming prejudice and stereotypes. And as a Pitbull, Elle has first-hand experience about overcoming stereotypes.
Pitbulls suffer a stigma in society, and being named this year’s “American Hero Dog” at the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards will go a long way with helping spread her message of compassion and awareness. Elle and her human companion, Leah Brewer, teach dog safety (more than 2 million children are bitten by dogs each year) and help people overcome their fear of dogs. Part of her mission is to educate families on how to be responsible pet parents and spread positive awareness about dog breeds that are misunderstood. She’s even started a reading program called “Tail Wagging Tales,” that helps children learn to love books and improve their reading skills. Everywhere she goes, Elle makes friends – she’s a well-known figure not only at schools, but also at retirement homes.
Not only does Elle receive kudos as an American Hero Dog, her charity partner, Hand in Paw, will also receive $6,500 in financial support from the Hero Dog Awards.
The awards were presented October 5 at a star-studded gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. But don’t worry if you couldn’t make it – the awards ceremony was taped and will be broadcast nationally on Hallmark Channel on October 30 at 8 pm/7 Central. The 90-minute program will air as part of Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project, the network’s cross-platform advocacy campaign designed to celebrate the joy and enrichment animals bring to our lives. Just a few of the celebs that attended the event were Joey Lawrence, Betty White, Jennifer Coolidge, Esai Morales, Ryan O’Neal, Naomi Judd, Pauley Perrette and Lisa Vanderpump.
Congratulations Elle and keep up the good work!
Amy Tokic, Editor of Our Site , is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).