AAHA-accredited practice serves hero dog patient

What do you get when you cross a canine with a hero? A hero dog, of course. And one of AAHA’s accredited members, Augusta Valley Animal Hospital, celebrated one of its own recently.

Chara, a Norweigian elkhound and patient of August Valley Animal Hospital, an AAHA-accredited practice since 2004, was awarded one of eight 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards®.

Chara’s award was in the Guide/Hearing Dog category.

The awards followed more than a million votes by the American public and the opinions of an expert panel of celebrity animal lovers and dog experts. They were presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc. and broadcast nationally on Hallmark Channel on Oct. 30.

Chara has been owner Kris Church-DiCiccio’s service dog since 2008, when Church-DiCiccio, who was born deaf, was diagnosed with a neurological condition, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, that includes seizure-like attacks, reported the Waynesboro, Va. News Leader.

Chara alerts Church-DiCiccio 45 minutes prior to the onset of such an attack so she can bypass the attack with medication, reported the News LeaderChara also saved Church-DiCiccio’s two-week old son’s life when the dog alerted Church-DiCiccio to the movement monitor that Church-DiCiccio failed to see.

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