DULUTH, Ga., Sept. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As Harley the Chihuahua proves daily, it is possible to tell a story that saves hundreds of lives and inspires countless others to take action without even having the ability to speak. The courageous pup recently earned the distinction of "American Hero Dog" at the American Humane Association's (AHA) annual American Hero Dog Awards® program. One of eight candidates for the program's top title, Harley first earned the distinction of America's favorite "Emerging Hero Dog," a category sponsored by Merial, the maker of NexGard® (afoxolaner).
The AHA's American Hero Dog Awards program recognizes extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs while concurrently celebrating the powerful relationship between humans and their canine companions. Inspired by the AHA's efforts to protect children and animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect, the awards ceremony selected winners in eight core categories from 170 dogs before turning to a consumer vote and input from a panel of celebrity judges to name the ultimate Hero Dog. More than one million people cast a vote for this year's program. The Merial-sponsored "Emerging Hero Dog" preliminary category is the only one that does not honor a trained service dog, instead recognizing an "everyday" dog that makes a difference.
A 14-year old Chihuahua based in Berthoud, Colo., Harley inspired and currently leads "Harley to the Rescue," a campaign which raises funds to save and provide medical care for mill dogs in partnership with the National Dog Mill Rescue. Harley himself survived a decade of residence in a puppy mill, enduring physical deformities – including the loss of his left eye – and emotional trauma as a result of cage confinement and overall poor conditions. Upon his 2011 rescue, doctors did not expect Harley to survive more than four months.
"Merial is proud to support programs like the AHA's American Hero Dog Awards and inspirational dogs like Harley who strive to make life better and easier for all dogs," said Brandt Giffin, executive director of U.S. Pets Marketing for Merial. "Harley exemplifies what we look for in an 'Emerging Hero Dog,' and he inspires hope and confidence in dogs and people alike. We are honored to celebrate his achievements in advocating for dogs confined to debilitating puppy mills."
Four years later, Harley is the spokesdog for efforts to stop commercial dog breeding. In addition to attending fundraisers and awareness events, Harley takes part in rescue missions and serves as a source of comfort for nervous and downtrodden mill dogs. To date, "Harley to the Rescue" has raised more than $500,000 and assisted more than 500 mill dogs since its 2013 launch.
Harley's cause will reach an even larger audience on Fri., Oct. 30, during the national telecast of the AHA's American Hero Dog Awards program. To learn more about the program, visit www.americanhumane.org. For more information about Harley to the Rescue, visit http://milldogrescue.org/harley-to-the-rescue/.
Despite living for more than 10 years in deplorable conditions, Harley now lives a great life with his owners in addition to his work advocating to end puppy mills. Merial, the maker of NexGard, sponsored the AHA's American Hero Dog Awards and Harley's originating category, the "Emerging Hero Dog" to highlight how the nominated dogs help make life easier and better for all dogs.
NexGard is the first soft, beef-flavored chew that kills both fleas and ticks. It keeps killing for a full 30 days and dogs love it.1 Combining a revolutionary active ingredient with an innovative form, NexGard is FDA-approved and available with a veterinarian's prescription. NexGard kills fleas fast, before they can lay eggs; prevents flea infestations; comes in a soft, beef-flavored chewable; kills ticks; and lasts for a full month.2
NexGard is safe3 and effective4 when used as directed. It helps treat and control fleas and ticks and keeps killing for a full 30 days.2
A recent study showed 89 percent of dogs readily consumed NexGard.1
To learn more about NexGard, please visit www.NexGardForDogs.com.
Merial will partner with Harley throughout his reign in programs and activities supporting the NexGard brand to help continue to raise awareness for his cause.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:
NexGard is for use in dogs only. The most frequently reported adverse reactions include vomiting, dry/flaky skin, diarrhea, lethargy, and lack of appetite. The safe use of NexGard in pregnant, breeding or lactating dogs has not been evaluated. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures. For more information, contact your veterinarian or see the prescribing information.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health and well-being of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,500 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide with over €2 billion of sales in 2014. Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see www.merial.com.
Sources: 1) Data on file. Merial, Inc., 2) NexGard Chewables Label., 3) Drag M, Saik J, Harriman J, Larsen D. Safety evaluation of orally administered afoxolaner in eight-week-old dogs. Vet Para 2014;201:198-203., 4) Freedom of Information Summary, NADA 141-406, NexGard.
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