This year's winners include a yellow Labrador named Scooter that spends time volunteering at the Louisa Muscatine Elementary School. A seven year old German Shepherd K9 named Kane that works for the Cass County Sheriff's office and has superior patrol skills and a four year old English Labrador service dog named Renata that provides medical support and increase independence for his 11 year old owner.
Here are your 2013 Hall of Fame Winners:
Companion Animal Hall of Fame Recipient
Winner: Scooter, a Labrador
Owner: Valerie Vineyard, Wapello
Nominating Veterinarian: Dr. Diane Noll,
Hometown Veterinary Care, New London
Scooter is an affectionate nine year-old yellow Labrador Retriever that belongs to Valerie Vineyard of Wapello. Scooter volunteers twice a week at Louisa Muscatine Elementary School, spending most of his time at a reading program working with students with a wide range of abilities. Some of the special needs kids just spend time with Scooter while main stream education students come and read books to Scooter. Some of the teachers use "Scooter-Time” as a classroom reward. Scooter is very patient with the kids and understands when the kids with disabilities are sometimes loud and overly excited when they see him. He allows the kids to be very affectionate and give him lots of hugs. Scooter knows when kids need a little extra attention or when they are having a bad day. Scooter is known around Louisa Muscatine School as the "most popular kid in school”.
Scooter and Valerie also volunteer at Keck Memorial Library in Wapello for the library's summer reading program where kids can read books to an attentive Scooter. Scooter was nominated by Dr. Diane Noll of Hometown Veterinary Care in New London.
Hero Animal Hall of Fame Recipient
Winner: Kane, a German Shepard
Owner: Cass County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Kyle Quist, Handler, Atlantic
Nominating Veterinarian: Dr. Keith Leonard,
Atlantic Animal Health Center, Atlantic
Kane is a 7 year-old German Shepard working for the Cass County Sheriff's Office in Atlantic. His handler is Deputy Kyle Quist. Kane joined the Cass County Sheriff's office in 2007. Kane is a dual purpose K9, meaning he is trained in locating narcotics, criminal apprehension, handler protection, tracking and evidence recovery. Kane quickly became recognized around Western Iowa for his patrol skills and has been utilized in 19 different Iowa Counties, two Missouri counties and one in Nebraska.
During his career with the Cass County Sheriff's office, Kane has assisted in locating approximately $5.1 million dollars of currency used in the drug trade, $60,000 worth of marijuana, and $5,000 worth of cocaine. He has also assisted in recovering thousands of dollars' worth of stolen property. Kane has apprehended 36 fleeing criminals and discovered evidence that has helped prosecute criminals in three attempted murder cases.
Kane has saved lives also. In one instance in 2011 he was called to track a fleeing suspect. It was during weather with -25 degrees wind-chill. Kane tracked the suspect for approximately 2 ½ miles. The suspect had lost his shoes in the snow during the escape and fell through the ice of a creek. Kane eventually found him in the middle of a field unable to move and suffering from extreme hypothermia.
Kane has won several awards over the years from the Heart of America Police Dog Association and the US Department of Justice Law Enforcement Coordinate Committee. Kane continues to work for the Cass County Sheriff's Office but will retire this year after a trauma injury to his shoulder.Kane was nominated by Dr. Keith Leonard of the Atlantic Animal Health Center in Atlantic.
Professional Animal Hall of Fame Recipient
Winner: Renata, an English Labrador
Owner: Matthew Bolander, West Des Monies
Nominating Veterinarian: Dr. Pam Doubek,
Northwest Veterinary Hospital, Urbandale
Renata is a four-year old English Labrador service dog who is constantly at the side of 11 year old Matthew Bolander of West Des Moines. Matthew, who was born premature and suffers from multiple medical issues, is a happy boy and gaining independence thanks to Renata. Renata performs many important jobs for Matthew including informing Matthew's caregivers of upcoming seizures and carrying Matthew's oxygen tanks. Renata carries the tanks better than any human, never leaving his side and making sure the oxygen tubing is never taunt or tangled. She is a constant calming force during Matthew's daily routine and his frequent medical procedures, including daily injections. Renata keeps Matthew safe when he's out and about by alerting him of obstacles that might cause him to fall.
Matthew loves showing off Renata, which helps foster positive interactions with his peers. Each day, seven days a week, Renata follows Matthew's every movement, giving him constant reassurance that everything is "OK”.Renata was nominated by Dr. Pam Doubek of Northwest Veterinary Hospital in Urbandale.
The Iowa Animal Hall of Fame, which is co-sponsored by Merck Animal Health, award pets for their bravery, companionship and professional contributions to people and the community. More than 45 animals, including dogs, cats and horses, from across Iowa have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception 15 years ago. The winners are chosen by a panel of three members.