In Mount Kisco, NY, Stella’s got a very, very important job. Stella works with developmentally challenged kids and adults at Richmond Community Services. Stella, a 2 year-old standard poodle, is vying for the coveted title of the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog in the therapy dog category. Stella and her handler, Marissa Levy, will go to Beverly Hills in early October for an award ceremony featuring Betty White, world-reknowned animal lover/activist and actress.
Stella won the Therapy Dog category after beating out other therapy dogs from every state in the United States. Now she’ll face off against other canine winners from law enforcement and arson dogs, service dogs, military dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs, and emerging hero dogs.
Stella and Marissa visit the center 10 times a week to bring smiles and give comfort to clients, from teenagers to those in their 60s. Last week, the Hallmark Channel sent a film crew to get footage of Stella at work. Several of the clients enjoyed the activity surrounding the filming.
“For them, that award is amazing, to have been a part of something so special,” said Stacy Lynn Rivera, volunteer programs specialist of the facility. “We’re just excited because Stella has become a part of the Richmond family, and one of our family members going so far and so high up, we’re all rooting for her and voting for her to become the hero dog.”
To show your support for Stella, vote at www.herodogawards.org. The 90-minute special will air on the Hallmark Channel on November 8th.