MacKenzie, a four-pound Chihuahua with a congenital abnormality, bags the hero canine award and bests more than 407 other canine heroes during the American Humane Hero Dog Awards, hosted by Carson Kressley on the Hallmark Channel.
MacKenzie, who is from Hilton, New York, was born with a cleft palate and nearly died of pneumonia.
Despite these, she overcame, and now, works with the non-profit Mia Foundation, where she cares and gives comfort to rescued baby animals who, like herself, suffer from congenital abnormalities and are unable to be with their moms physically. There, MacKenzie is seen teaching good manners and how to properly interact with others.
On other occasions, MacKenzie also teaches schoolchildren how to be kind to people or animals with physical inabilities.
Choosing the winner in the competition involved both public voting and judging by a panel of celebrity animal lovers, such as Alexa and Carlos PenaVega, Ariel Winter, Daniel Henney, Danielle Fishel, Erik Estrada, Jamie Chung, Marcus Scribner, and Wendi Covey.
Then on its 10th anniversary, the American Humane Hero Dog Awards honors and acknowledges animal heroes who achieved extraordinary humane feat such as rescuing people on the battlefield, giving care and consolation to patients and elderly, or going beyond their call of duty.
According to the organization’s president and CEO, Dr. Robin Ganzert, it is their hope that stories of these canine heroes inspire humans to appreciate their animal companions for their roles in our lives.
Image & Feature Image Source: American Humane