Iowa Animal Hall of Fame

Three remarkable animals were named to the 2020 IVMA Animal Hall of Fame
The IVMA and Merck Animal Health named three wonderful animals as the recipients of the 2020 Animal Hall of Fame awards for their bravery, companionship and professional contributions to people and the community.  Sixty-seven animals from across Iowa have been inducted into the Animal Hall of Fame since its inception 22 years ago, including dogs, cats and horses.  The awards were given in three categories: Companion, Hero and Professional. 

This year's 2020 Animal Hall of Fame winners include:  Buck, a 5-year-old Border Collie Mix from Winterset. Lincoln, a 12-year-old Golden Retriever belonging to Mike and Victoria Laird of Oskaloosa. Maggie, a Golden Retriever who belongs to Joe & Sue Williams of Sheldon.

Do You Have an Exceptional Patient? Nominate today for Iowa Animal Hall of Fame!
Do you have a patient that’s a hero?  Maybe it’s a hard working K9, a service dog or an ordinary pet doing extraordinary things. Whether the animal is saving lives, lending sight or hearing to a human companion or just welcoming your client home with extra love, we want to hear about it! We need your nominations!  Now is your chance to give a special client and their pet this honor.
Click here to complete the nomination form.

The deadline for nominations is January 15, 2021.

Companion Animal Hall of Fame Recipient

Winner: Maggie
Owner: Joe & Sue Williams
Nominating Veterinarians:  Dr. Sandy Schmith, Sheldon Veterinary Medical Center

Maggie is a 5-year-old Golden Retriever who was adopted by Joe and Sue Williams. After just a few days in her new home, Joe took Maggie to the nursing home to visit his father and Maggie found her true calling. Within 10 days, Maggie learned to be a perfectly behaved companion with no formal training. One of the staff members at the nursing home said, “Maggie fosters amazing responses from our residents, from an instant smile, someone reaching out to pet her, to a full embrace. There is such a serenity about her as she brings calmness, companionship and comfort when she places her head gently on someone’s lap or stands patiently by our resident’s side as they caress her silky fur.” Maggie and Joe soon became regulars at the nursing home visiting every Saturday, bringing joy and smiles to residents. For many residents, Maggie and Joe are the only visitors they receive each week.  Maggie is now registered as a Comfort Dog with the Allegiance of Therapy Dogs, opening more doors for the pair to spread love to other memory care units and hospice patients in the area.  Maggie now makes monthly visits to a veteran’s home in Minnesota and another nursing home in Sioux Falls, SD. Maggie’s owner, Joe summed up their love for Maggie this way, “It’s hard to put into words how proud we are of Maggie. Who would have thought that wooly dog we met on the first night would bring so much love and joy to so many people? She surely is a blessing to us.”

Hero Animal Hall of Fame Recipient

Winner: Buck
Owner: Bill & Jill Hatten
Nominating Veterinarian: Drs. Jim Pottebaum and Lonna Nielsen, Winterset Veterinary Center

Buck is a 5-year-old Border Collie mix from Winterset. One-night last April, in the middle of the night, 17-year-old Bryce Hatten woke to find Buck jumping on his chest and barking in his face. Bryce looked across his bedroom to see flames shooting up to the ceiling. Bryce ran to alert the rest of his family and all 5 members of the Hatten family and their six dogs escaped the blaze in less than 30 seconds. The Hatten family’s home was a total loss, but they all have their lives, thanks to the heroism of Buck.  The family feels that if it wasn’t for Buck, they wouldn’t be here today.  Bryce and Buck were always close, but now Bryce calls Buck “The Best Dog, Ever.”

Professional Animal Hall of Fame Recipient

Winner: Lincoln
Owner: Mike & Victoria Laird
Nominating Veterinarian: Dr. Teresa Carmichael, Mahaska Veterinary Clinic

Lincoln is an affectionate 12-year-old Golden Retriever and registered Therapy Dog who began weekly visits at the Mahaska hospital the spring of 2010. Lincoln has continued his visits to the hospital ever since. He also visits the local Hospice and several assisted living and long-term care facilities. In 2019, Lincoln completed his 500th therapy visit, bringing comfort and happiness to over 8000 people. The staff at the hospital say that Lincoln has a way of knowing exactly when a patient needs him. He makes every visit, every soulful gaze, every nose nudge and every paw shake, an important meaningful moment.  Lincoln has also spent many hours accompanying his owner, Victoria, to work at William Penn University, giving college students, especially those missing their own pets back home, the chance to spend some time with Lincoln to relax and release stress. Lincoln’s hobbies include competing in conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, nose work, scent work, barn hunt and trick venues. He has completed 71 AKC and UKC titles and is now retired from all competition, except for scent work which is his favorite. Along with bringing joy to others in person, Lincoln also stars, along with his brother Nicholas, in a children’s book series called Retrieving Adventures written by his owner, Victoria. These fictional stories have taken young readers on adventures with Lincoln to many exciting places including Africa and Alaska.