For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us, and given us their unconditional love. Now, once again, thanks to a national effort capturing the hearts and minds of millions of dog-loving Americans, it’s time to recognize the remarkable ways our best friends improve – and even save – our lives.
On October 28 at 8 pm ET/7C, Hallmark Channel will premiere the 2016 American Humane Hero Dog Awards™, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. You’ll see the amazing, funny and sometimes heartbreaking stories of eight courageous canines whose heroic exploits will touch your heart in an emotional two-hour special leading up to the moment when we reveal the name of the top American Hero Dog for 2016. Be sure to tune in and root for your favorite in this star-studded awards gala hosted by Beth Stern and James Denton at the Beverly Hilton and featuring special performances by Katharine McPhee.
Today, please meet the first of America’s eight most heroic hounds for 2016, Military Hero Dog “Layka”:
In May 2012 Layka’s team was assaulting an enemy compound in an Afghan village, receiving direct rifle fire from the compound. Apache helicopters and Hellfires were brought in to help. Layka was sent into search for injured or live combatants and explosives. Once inside, she engaged an enemy combatant while taking four rounds from an AK-47 to the right shoulder area. Her handler removed her from the building and headed to a predetermined point for extraction where the medics started working on her. She was flown to a base where her right leg was removed and she was prepped for transport to Germany. Once in Germany she underwent more surgery to remove and repair her shoulder and triceps. She was moved to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to fully recover and was medically retired in August of 2012.
Now THAT’S a hero dog!