Iowa Animal Hall of Fame

Three remarkable animals were named to the 2021 IVMA Animal Hall of Fame
The IVMA and Merck Animal Health named three wonderful animals as the recipients of the 2021 Animal Hall of Fame awards for their bravery, companionship and professional contributions to people and the community.  Over 70 animals from across Iowa have been inducted into the Animal Hall of Fame since its inception 23 years ago, including dogs, cats and horses.  The awards were given in three categories: Companion, Hero and Professional. 

This year's 2021 Animal Hall of Fame winners include:  Gus, a 10-year-old Goldendoodle from Ottumwa. Hudson Bo, a 2-year-old Border Collie Aussie mix from Adel, and 13-year-old a Golden Retriever named Mylee of Bettendorf.

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, 2022.

Companion Animal Hall of Fame Recipient

Winner: Mylee
Owner: Jim & Mary Brown
Nominating Veterinarian:  Dr. Skye Doerscher, Risius Family Veterinary Services

Maggie is Mylee is a 13-year-old yellow lab owned by Jim and Mary Brown of Bettendorf. Jim and Mary brought Mylee home when a puppy as a companion for their family when Jim retired. Mylee was a very active and strong-willed puppy and quickly became very attached to Jim and Mary.  They expected Mylee to calm down and lose her puppy exuberance as she matured, but Jim says, “13 years later, we’re still waiting for that to happen!” After enlisting several dog trainers, Mylee learned most of the routine commands of sit, heal and come, but she stubbornly will still only respond to commands if they come from her favorite humans, Jim and Mary, not a stranger or trainer. Mylee has been a constant companion and sense of strength for the family during Mary’s battle with Parkinson Disease. If Mary is having a bad day, Mylee is the first to notice, even before Jim, and is a steadfast companion and support for Mary. Jim has many stories of Mylee’s antics and devotion including the time the family went to an animal shelter to bring home a rescue dog.  Jim put both dogs in the back of the SUV for the ride home and Mylee decided to show the new pup, Casey, that she was the family favorite by climbing to the front seat and sitting her full-grown lab body on Mary’s lap for the entire ride home. Happily, Mylee warmed up to Casey and they became the best of friends.     

Hero Animal Hall of Fame Recipient

Winner: Hudson Bo
Owner: Steve & Sandy Frame
Nominating Veterinarian: Dr. Lindsay Speer, Summit Veterinary Services

Hudson Bo, a 2-year-old Border Collie Aussie mix from Adel. Hudson is owned by Steve and Sandy Frame. Last August, Sandy’s mother Lois went for a walk in the woods behind her house while Sandy was at the grocery store. When Sandy returned home, Hudson was excited, agitated and kept pouncing on her chest with his front feet. Sandy could not figure out what was causing Hudson’s restlessness. Sandy then realized her mother was not in the house and she started looking for her. The entire time Hudson was relentless, jumping up and down and pouncing on her chest and Sandy realized Hudson was trying to tell her something. Sandy told him to “find grandma” and Hudson took her to the woods behind the house where Lois had fallen down a ravine. She had several broken bones and was not able to get back home on her own. The woods behind the house are not somewhere that Lois usually walks, and Sandy would never have known to look there without Hudson’s direction. Lois later told Sandy that Hudson had stayed with her in the ravine until he heard Sandy come home and then went to the house to alert her. Thanks to this canine hero, Hudson, Sandy was able to find her mother and get her the help she needed. Lois has now recovered from her fall and is doing much better.

Professional Animal Hall of Fame Recipient

Winner: Gus
Owner: Jen Chestnut
Nominating Veterinarian: Dr. Lori Hickie

Gus is a 10-year-old Goldendoodle belonging to Jen Chestnut of Ottumwa. Gus is a certified therapy dog and his owner Jen, a high school teacher in Ottumwa, are an inspiring pair. He is one of the most sought-after staff members at the school for his ability to brighten a student’s day or calm an anxious student. Gus is available to have students read to him, listen to presentations or just give students need a much-needed break. Gus creates an atmosphere of joy just by being present. He’s excited to greet everyone, is nonjudgmental, kind to all, and a great listener. His presence aids students struggling with friendship and home issues, school anxiety, and other problems. Students visibly relax and open up while petting or playing with Gus. Gus also participates in a children’s reading program at the Ottumwa Public Library.  Kids can come in and read stories to Gus, improving these young readers’ confidence, and increasing their reading levels. Gus brings smiles and laughter to everyone he encounters and seems to enjoy his jobs helping students and children.