October 17, 2006
Albany -- Hero the Labrador Retriever was honored Tuesday along with his handler, Marty Harris, for their work helping others through pet therapy.
With more than 70,000 votes cast in the 2006 Paws to Recognize program created by Pedigree Food for Dogs with support from Wal-Mart, Hero came out as the top dog. The contest was initiated to pay tribute to the country's more than 15,000 service dogs.
The South Georgia pair officially received their honor Tuesday. "When we adopted Hero in 1996, he was just a big beautiful dog with a big heart. We just wanted him to be our best friend. Then we realized right away what an incredible amount of compassion he has for everyone and we decided we needed to share him with the community," said Hero's partner, Marty Harris.
Hero was rescued from the Albany Humane Society. After devoting his life to consoling others, Hero just recently won his own battle with cancer.