In December 2019, Sasha the shelter dog saved the life of a young boy. A neighbor had lost their 10-year-old son with Down Syndrome, and Sasha was able to use her incredible nose to locate him.
Now, Gina Silvestri hopes she can use Sasha’s brave spirit to help more dogs in need. She nominated her furry friend for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards in the shelter dog category. She hopes that winning this award will help encourage more people to adopt shelter dogs. After all, rescue dogs are the most incredible companions!
Shelter Dog Saves A Life
Silvestri adopted Sasha from Miami-Dade Animal Services in October 2019. He was originally named Bear, but his new mom renamed him because Sasha means “man’s defender.” He was very shy and nervous at first, but he quickly grew comfortable around Silvestri and became her service dog.
Less than two months after Sasha was adopted, he got a chance to live up to his name. Silvestri heard her neighbor screaming, so she came out to help. Her neighbor, Lorraine Ruth, explained that her 10-year-old boy was missing. He has Down Syndrome and is nonverbal. So, Silvestri asked if Sasha could have something that smelled like the boy.
Ruth handed over her son’s stuffed monkey. After only a few sniffs, Sasha took off to locate the scent. Silvestri followed Sasha, who led her to the boy several blocks away. He might’ve saved that boy’s life!
“To have a dog come to the rescue was just so amazing,” said Ruth. “We had never even met them before. And he tracked right to him.”
Help Sasha Win an Award!
Now, Sasha has a chance to win the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards. He has proved himself heroic more than once since his first rescue, including when he helped a 77-year-old neighbor who fell and couldn’t get up. He has also been the face of many fundraisers that have helped dogs in need. But this new award would be for much more than just his personal gain.
“This isn’t just about Sasha,” said Silvestri. “This is about raising awareness about shelter pets.”
The American Hero Dog Awards is an event that takes place every year to award dogs who do amazing things, and you can vote for your favorite pups on the American Hero Dog website. Sasha is a brave and heroic canine, but all the dogs in the running are very deserving of the award.
Whether Sasha wins this contest or not, his story is likely to change lives. Many people mistake shelter dogs for being “difficult” or “broken,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Most rescue dogs just need some love and care, and then they’ll be the most loyal dogs you’ll ever meet.