Hooch the Hero Dog

A three-year-old French Mastiff named Hooch has been named this year’s most courageous canine, winning the top title of “American Hero Dog” at the 2016 American Humane Hero Dog Awards.

To win this honor, Hooch received nearly a million votes by the American public and bested 173 other heroic dogs.

The awards honor the amazing struggles and deeds of America’s most heroic Poochs – and Hooch has a doozy of a story, according to the American Humane Association:

“Zach Skow, of Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue, learned about him from a shelter in Bakersfield, which told him Hooch would not eat or drink, instead thrashing his food and water bowls around “like a maniac.”

He was 35 pounds underweight, starving and dehydrated, and they thought that a broken or dislocated jaw was causing his behavior.

But when he was taken to the vet and sedated for x-raying, a gruesome discovery was made: Hooch’s tongue had been savagely removed at its base, likely in an attempt to prime him for the role of a bait dog.”

Horrible Treatment by Dog-Fight “Trainers”

A bait dog is used as a “practice” for fighting dogs. The bait dog will have its mouth duct-taped shut — or even have its teeth pulled out – by unscrupulous trainers.

Since the bait dog cannot fight back, it is used as a living canine punching bag by fighting dogs. These trainers see this as a way of making the fighting dogs more aggressive.

Once in the caring hands of Skow, Hooch began his recovery. He now works with Marley’s Mutts’ Miracle Mutts division serving as a therapy dog for abused, autistic, and special needs children, helping them with great gentleness, patience and kindness.

Even after being treated with unbelievable cruelty by humans, Hooch still has the goodness and decency to work as a therapy dog. That’s an amazing story, and an example of why dogs are called, “man’s best friend.”

This year, the American Humane Hero Dog Awards will be broadcast nationally on Hallmark Channel October 28. Find out more HERE.

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