HUMMELSTOWN, Pa., Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) has announced that it will present its 2011 Wodan Animal Hero Award to Jynx, a K9 officer with the Berks County Sheriff's Department on Friday, August 12, as part of its Hall of Fame Dinner at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA. The award is given annually to an animal in the state of Pennsylvania for an act of heroism in the protection of animal or human life within the previous calendar year.
Jynx was the K9 partner of Deputy Kyle Pagerly of the Berks County Sheriff's Department. On June 29, 2011, Deputy Pagerly, Jynx, additional sheriff's deputies, US Marshalls, and police officers attempted to serve a felony warrant on a violent fugitive. The fugitive, Matthew Connor, took cover in a sniper's nest with an AK-37 semi-automatic rifle.
Berks County Sheriff Eric Weaknecht said, "Jynx alerted Pagerly as to where the sniper was hiding and Pagerly then ordered Connor to drop his weapon. When he refused, gunfire ensued and Deputy Pagerly was shot and killed. In an attempt to remove his partner from harm's way, Jynx attempted to drag Deputy Pagerly to safety. Matthew Connor was prepared to ambush the entire fugitive task force. Without the heroic acts of Deputy Jynx many lives could have been lost that night."
Jynx's heroism was also acknowledged by the Berks County Sheriff's Department with a medal of honor. The dog has since been retired from the department and lives with Deputy Pagerly's widow.
The Wodan Animal Hero Award was first given in 2001 to a Harrisburg City K9 officer who was shot four times during the apprehension of a suspect but was still able to successfully hold that suspect until officers were able to arrest him. Since then, recipients of the award have also included a Ground Zero search and rescue team, a dog involved in gene therapy research for congenital blindness, two dogs who saved their family from a coyote attack, and four therapy dogs.
The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) is the only statewide professional organization of over 2,200 veterinarians from across the Commonwealth. The association, which was established in 1883, strives to advance animal welfare and human health while ensuring the vitality of the veterinary profession. PVMA's website is available at www.pavma.org
SOURCE Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA)