Hero Dog Awards - Denali


Palm Harbor, Florida

Denali’s body bares the scars and tells a story of domestic violence. Doused in accelerant, locked in a crate, and trapped in a fire intentionally set by her former owner, Denali spent 17 days in the ICU fighting for her life as burns continued to grow. She endured bandage changes and debriding surgeries daily to remove necrotic tissue. Denali became a symbol of strength and hope to those in Tampa Bay and around the world. Denali is a HERO because she teaches forgiveness, strength, and the resilience to overcome and does it with a silly spirit and a smile in her heart. She continues to be an ambassador of hope and kindness, bringing awareness to animal cruelty and domestic violence. Denali became a certified therapy dog and visits schools and St Pete/Clearwater International Airport easing traveler’s anxieties. The most inspiring role Denali has is to bring comfort to other survivors of domestic violence, visiting a safe house weekly where guests/survivors learn to smile again, share their stories and begin to believe in hope beyond the abuse. Denali’s story and her joyous demeanor bring an understanding of what is possible; seeing her kindness they find a kindred spirit in her eyes. Denali is a domestic abuse and burn survivor, a resilient spirit that overcame insurmountable odds after suffering from 3rd degree chemical burns over 35% of her body. Her physical scars are a reminder of her strength, bravery, kindness and serve as beacon of hope to those around her.