German Shepherd Posthumously Named "Valor Dog of the Year"

German Shepherd Posthumously Named "Valor Dog of the Year"

The Humane Society of the United States has awarded Buffy the highest honors for a companion animal in the annual Dogs of Valor Awards. Buffy, a seven year old German Shepherd living in Oakland, CA, drove an armed attacker away from her owner, even though she had been shot in the leg. Sadly, Buffy had to be humanely euthanized due to complications which arose from the injuries she sustained in the attack. In January of 2007, Buffy's owner Will Bartley, 44, left the cell phone store which he owns, and returned home for the evening. He believes that his attackers followed him home from the store. Mr. Bartley arrived home, and left his car to open the gate. As he returned to his car, he was accosted by a man who pointed a gun at his chest. The gunman, not realizing that Buffy was nearby, took Mr. Bartley's wallet, robbing him of his $400, credit cards, and identification. Buffy, sensing danger, lunged at the gunman, who turned away from Mr. Bartley and fired twice, striking her in the front leg. Disregarding her injury, Buffy drove the attacker away from her owner. Mr. Bartley was unharmed. Buffy was rushed to a nearby veterinary clinic, and underwent surgery in an attempt to save her leg. Veterinarians initially gave Buffy 50/50 odds that her leg would have to be amputated. The surgery was a success, and doctors at Bay Area Veterinary Specialists were able to save her leg. However, the doctors discovered that Buffy had an undiagnosed pre-existing kidney problem, which was exacerbated by the blood Buffy lost in the attack. A month after the attack, Buffy had to be humanely euthanized due to the kidney problem. The Bartley family reported that Buffy had always been very loving and protective of the family, intervening in any play fights. "She's always been like the peace dog," said Marcus Bartley, 14. The Humane Society panel chose Buffy to receive the award "because of the extraordinary courage she exhibited that day in saving her owner's life. " The award was presented posthumously to Buffy's family, along with a sterling silver Dogs of Valor tag, a framed certificate, and a $250 gift certificate to the Humane Society's online store. Competition for the award was close between Buffy and the next candidate, Bear, a mastiff who intervened in a machete attack against his owner. In December, 2007, Christopher Rogers' son broke into his house and attacked Rogers with a machete. Bear intervened in the attack, receiving a machete blow to the face. Although Bear was unable to save his owner, his intervention allowed his owner's fiancée to escape, and bought her enough time to lock herself in the bathroom and phone 911. This is the second year that the Humane Society has held the Dogs of Valor awards. The first annual companion dog award went to Buster, a golden retriever service dog in Lucerne, CA. Buster alerted his family to a house fire, which allowed them to escape safely.