His name is Hero | SierraSun.com

His name is Hero

Special to the Sun

Amy Edgett / Sierra SunThe rescued chow-mix Hero overcame a history of abuse in a loving forever home and was celebrated as andamp;#8220;Pet of Honorandamp;#8221; at the Truckee Duckee Derbee. For photo gallery, visit www.facebook.com/sierrasun1.

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; His name is Hero and like so many homeless pets that arrive at the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe (HSTT) his story was a sad one.For the first three years of his life the chow-mix pup was kept outside on a short chain almost day and night, summer and winter. He was barely given enough food and water to survive. A metal link collar was imbedded into his skin so badly it had to be surgically removed. There was risk of serious infection, or worse. And with a history of such abuse, it was uncertain how adoptable he would be.But on June 11 at the River Ranch Lodge, there was Hero with a new permanent caretaker, a glowing coat and a wagging tail. He was also the recipient of the andamp;#8220;Pet of Honorandamp;#8221; award at the 9th Annual Truckee Duckee Derbee, a benefit for the HSTT. Former andamp;#8220;pets of honorandamp;#8221; have included two of Michael Vickandamp;#8217;s pit bulls who were rescued by BADRAP andamp;#8212; Bay Area Dog Lovers who are Responsible About Pit bulls.Hero and his owner Fred were treated like royalty and brought up in front of the packed patio and presented with a stuffed goodie bag donated by Scraps Dog Bakery of Truckee andamp;#8212; along with the roar of the animal-loving crowd. Hero, who mingled easily with humans and fellow canines alike, showed no ill-effects of his painful past.andamp;#8220;The Humane Society deals with many sad stories,andamp;#8221; TDD organizer Bill Jensen said to the crowd. andamp;#8220;But they also facilitate happy endings. This is truly one of them.andamp;#8221;The TDD is a fun-filled afternoon of animal-themed hijinks, including the andamp;#8220;Dogz in Dudzandamp;#8221; and the andamp;#8220;Cool Catz in Hatzandamp;#8221; contests followed by the main event andamp;#8212; the rubber duck races held in the Ranchandamp;#8217;s lagoon on the Truckee River. Because of the erratic currents and fluctuating eddies, itandamp;#8217;s called the andamp;#8220;most unpredictable two minutes in Tahoe.andamp;#8221; The top three ducks divvy up the cash pot with the HSTT. With live music, an outdoor barbecue, huge raffle and tons of pet-loving locals and visitors with best friends in tow, itandamp;#8217;s an enjoyable and entertaining way to spend a Tahoe afternoon. But thereandamp;#8217;s also a very serious side.andamp;#8220;We have raised thousands of dollars over the years for the HSTT while also raising awareness of the Humane Societyandamp;#8217;s mission,andamp;#8221; says Jensen. andamp;#8220;Thatandamp;#8217;s why weandamp;#8217;re here andamp;#8212; for dogs like Hero.andamp;#8221;Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the TDD and there are ambitious plans to celebrate it.andamp;#8220;Weandamp;#8217;re inviting some of the most well-known animal advocates on the planet,andamp;#8221; says Jensen. andamp;#8220;Who knows, maybe Oprah will want to take her vacation in Tahoe next year?andamp;#8221;The TDD is held annually on the second Sunday of June. For more information on the HSTT go to http://www.hstt.org.