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First Place: Regina from National Mill Dog Rescue

9,523 votes

Regina is a 4 year old English Bulldog who was rescued by National Mill Dog Rescue in December 2015 from a puppy mill. Shortly after rescue she was sent to North Academy Veterinary Hospital for spaying and a full dental. During that time they determined that she had been previously sutured with fishing line, which was causing her infection pain. During the surgery they also performed hernia repair and mammary mass removals. She will need to undergo another surgery in the near future for additional mammary tumor removals and a 2nd hernia repair.

Second Place: Braveheart from Girard Lifesaver

7,872 votes

Life in rural Georgia, especially Burke County, can be horrendous for dogs. With no animal control or shelters, Samantha Holton of Girard Lifesaver knows this all too well. Samantha got a call for a stray dog hanging around a trailer park. The woman who called said the kids and adults were throwing sticks and stones at this dog and yelling at him that he was an ugly, mangy dog and should go. When Samantha arrived she found a pup in horrific shape, no hair except for a little on his head. His ears were torn and bleeding, his eyes were almost fused shut due to an oozing infection, a horrible crust covered his body from the neck down and his joints were swollen and full of puss and he couldn’t even stand on the front right leg, it just dangled. In spite of all of this, this survivor dog was trying to wag his tail and showed no sign of aggression what so ever. Samantha named him Braveheart for his courage and will to live in spite of his horrific condition. Once Braveheart got to the vet that afternoon, more bad news followed. Braveheart was heart worm positive AND the mange he had was Sarcoptic, which is much harder to get rid of, plus his immune system was shot and he was anemic. If Girard Lifesaver hadn’t taken this dog in, he would have died a horrible death. This all happened on October 2nd, 2015 and Braveheart is still recovering. While his skin and the sarcoptic mange is improving everyday and his hair is growing back, he has a long and expensive road ahead. Now that he's recovered somewhat, heart worm treatment needs to start and the right ankle that just dangles, needs surgery by an orthopedic specialist to fuse the joints together so he can use it. He will also need surgery on his left front ankle as well, plus physical therapy once these surgeries are complete. There is still a battle with his immune system, so Braveheart is continually taking meds in the hopes of finding one that will work, as well as receiving good food, vitamins and lots of love. The staff at Burke County Animal Hospital have done an amazing job with Braveheart and say through all of this he has proven to be one of the sweetest and courageous souls they’ve ever met - “He even “smiles” at you”. Now, Dr. Scarlett Timmons of All God's Creatures Animal Hospital has picked up the baton to continue Braveheart's treatments and ready him for his surgeries. Girard Lifesaver gets calls daily about dogs dumped by dumpsters (there is no regular garbage pick up so people not only dump their garbage at these strategically placed dumpsters throughout the county, but also dogs and cats - lots of them. Girard Lifesaver is their only hope and Samantha has no help, as Girard Lifesaver is a non-profit organization and funds are low. Our hope is that you too, see what we see in Braveheart, with his determination to live, and will help out with his huge vet bills that keep growing. Braveheart has already been neutered and is up-to-date on shots. He is currently in a foster home as he heals and prepares for his surgeries. Once these surgeries are done and Braveheart has healed, he will be ready for a family of his very own. Please help us give Braveheart his very own happy tail ending.

Third Place: Lisette from Operation Paws for Homes

7,745 votes

Meet Lisette. Amazing girl living with a torn ACL. Everyday she shows such strength. She wakes up every day with a wagging tail and high stepping with excitement. Lisette is living with a torn ACL but still has the strength to let her personality shine. During feeding time, she is pawing at your legs as you are pouring the food in her bowl. She also hops from paw to paw with excitement. Most of the day she lays around and is in a great deal of pain. Sometimes after a nap she comes out into the living room to check on her foster family. As she is walking back to bed, she steals toys from the other dogs or the toy box and carries them back to her bed. One day she left a trail of toys from the toy box to her bed for us to clean up. She is as sweet as can be and loves attention. Lisette often puts her head in your lap begging you to pet her while she shifts her weight between her back two legs. Potty breaks are especially difficult for this sweet dog. She currently balances herself on her front two legs every time she squats because of the amount of pain she is in when she puts weight on her back right leg. Using the stairs is also very difficult for Lisette. She hops up the stairs and mentally prepares herself before she goes down the stairs. Her foster family would gladly pick her up to help her out, but this would hurt her as well. The act of getting up from laying down is even a chore. She has to position herself just right before she can get up from laying down. The same process occurs when she is trying to lay down. It is uncertain how long Lisette has been living with a torn ACL. What we do know is it has been to long! We can’t wait for the day that she is pain free and able to move and play like every dog should!