Hero Dog Awards - Ava


East Smithfield, Pennsylvania

Ava was initially found as a 5 week old stray. She was adopted into her first home at 8 weeks old, but was found to be too much for her family. She was returned at 11 months old with many behavior issues including dog and stranger reactivity. She then spent just over a year living in the shelter, overlooked due to her behavior struggles. I began fostering her and, after 9 months of not being adopted, I made her mine forever. Since then, she has become an amazing dog who is not only no longer dog reactive, she has helped me successfully rehabilitate several other special behavior needs dogs. Ava is the confident dog that teaches fearful dogs how to be a companion animal. Fearful dogs are immediately drawn to her and look to her for guidance. Ava has also become a dog who loves all humans, and is often used for handling and training practice by our pre-veterinary interns at my shelter. I would not be who I am today without all I learned from Ava about behavior and training. Several dogs, including but not limited to Kevin, Hao, Barnaby, and Fitz, might not have found the courage to become companion dogs without Ava’s guidance.