BERTHOUD — Sparky does not look like the typical drug-detection dog, but the terrier packs a truly sensitive nose and a lot of heart into his 15-pound frame.
The retired working dog, who was excellent at his job, sniffing out drugs, alcohol and gunpowder in school settings, has been nominated for an American Humane Hero Dog Award for his heart.
“His specialty was connecting and creating bonds with the hard-to-reach kids,” Kathleen Mayger, Berthoud resident and Sparky’s handler, wrote in his award nomination. “After a drug bust, Sparky would sit close with the distraught student and offer consolation.”
Sparky is one of 265 dogs nominated for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards. Voting is open to the public at herodogawards.com to determine finalists in seven categories — law enforcement, emerging hero, guide/hearing, military, search and rescue, service and therapy.
Ultimately, one winner from each category will be chosen to walk the red carpet at an awards gala in Hollywood, at which time one of the finalists will be chosen the 2018 American Humane Hero Dog.
Rescued puppy mill dog, Harley, also of Berthoud, was named the 2015 Hero Dog. Harley competed as an emerging hero, and it is in that category that Sparky, too, will compete. Entrants in the class are described on the competition’s website as “ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things.”
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