Senior Savior: 11-Year-Old Dog Awarded for Rescuing Blind, Elderly Neighbor

For Immediate Release:
April 21, 2021

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Wake Forest, N.C. – A Heroic Dog Award is on its way from PETA to Mary Violante for her adopted senior dog, Gracie, who came to the rescue of an elderly neighbor in their community.

Violante, who adopted 11-year-old Gracie in 2019, was outside chatting with a friend when Gracie began to bark in a way her guardian had never heard before. Violante checked behind the bushes and discovered that her blind 92-year-old neighbor, John Ball, had fallen, his arm was bleeding, and his back was bruised. She immediately called for help—and once he’d recovered, Ball gave Gracie a balloon, a card, and treats in thanks.

“When this dog sensed that her vulnerable neighbor needed help, she made sure that her guardian knew to step in,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes this story inspires people to consider opening their home to a senior dog, as they have all the wisdom of their years and so much love to give.”

Around 70 million dogs and cats are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. An estimated 10% of them end up in animal shelters, where many must eventually be euthanized for reasons including old age, injury, illness, emotional and psychological damage, and a lack of good homes. That’s why PETA advocates for adoption and urges guardians to have their animal companions spayed or neutered.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—is sending Violante a letter, a framed certificate, and some toys and treats for Gracie to enjoy.

For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind