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Rescue canine receives top dog honors

People often do what they can to help animals, but sometimes it's our four-legged friends who are the true heroes. Take, for example, Pearl, a black Lab who was dropped off at a Northern California shelter by her owners three years ago.

According to, soon thereafter, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) spotted the canine and decided she had the moxie to join their team. She was paired with her new owner, Ron Horetski, a firefighter-engineer, and traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after the devastating earthquake.

"It was intense," Horetski told the news outlet. "Things weren't [just] collapsed, they were crushed. There were people in the street, we didn't have maps, [we didn't speak] the language. But we had to do this as a team."

Thanks to her efforts, Pearl was awarded the 2010 Dog of the Year Award from the ASPCA. Horetski isn't surprised, as he admits he and his furry companion work great together.

"It was a perfect match," he told the news outlet. "Though I'm 6-foot-6 and have a little black Lab named Pearl."

According to its website, the SDF recruits canines from around the country that have been abused or abandoned. The pups usually demonstrate high energy and boldness, which makes them ideal for search and rescue missions. 
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