American Hero Dog MacKenzie, a 4-pound Chihuahua. She was born with a cleft palate. She could not eat or drink alone for the first year of her life. The little dog battled several cases of aspiration pneumonia. But each time, she persevered and became an inspiration to all.


After receiving life-saving surgery, which allowed her to eat and drink independently, she focused her attention on baby animals in need. MacKenzie has cared for other rescue animals with congenital disabilities for the past seven years at The Mia Foundation in New York.

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“She plays nurse and cleans, comforts, & cuddles them. She also acts as their mom and teaches them how to socialize. Play, & have good manners,” stated her bio.

And she has mothered rescue cats, dogs, birds, a goat, and many other species who were left without a mother. In addition to helping animals, she volunteers with school children to teach them to be kind to those with physical differences.

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While the little dog may have lost her ability to bark, her love and kindness message is heard loud and clear. Her unwavering devotion and colossal heart won her the 2020 American Hero Dog and Shelter Hero Dog of the Year.

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Chihuahua with Birth Defect Named 2020 American Hero Dog 6

“The American Humane Hero Dog Awards create to celebrate the powerful relationship. Between dogs and people and recognize extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs.” posted the nonprofit American Humane.

The annual competition searches the country for the most heroic dogs and then tells their brave stories to inspire others. Dogs compete in seven categories – shelter, therapy, law enforcement, military, service, search and rescue, and guide/hearing – which make up the ultimate American Hero Dog Award.

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MacKenzie competed against six other courageous dogs for the ultimate title. Check out all the finalists here.

They are all winners and prove that dogs make the world a better place.

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