Fiona the Homeless Poodle Is Named ASPCA Dog of the Year

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Every dog affects the lives of his or her individual humans daily, but a fluffy pup named Fiona has reached millions of people around the world. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will honor her as Dog of the Year tomorrow (Nov. 8) during its 2012 Humane Awards luncheon in New York City.

Fiona came to the attention of animal lovers in November 2010, when Eldad and Audrey Hagar found the senior Poodle mix living blind in a trash heap in South Los Angeles. They shared her rescue on YouTube and Facebook with a request for donations. Surgery could restore sight to one of Fiona's eyes, but Hope for Paws -- the animal welfare organization run by the Hagars -- needed help to cover the cost.
Enough money came in, and Fiona regained partial sight. She starred in multiple follow-up videos before being adopted by Michele and Chris Gentry in February 2011.

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Since then, Fiona's story of survival has gone viral, resulting in global media coverage and 5.5 million YouTube views to date (when you combine the videos uploaded by the Hagars with those reuploaded by other YouTube users). The little dog has made quite an impact, showing the world what can happen when a homeless animal gets a second chance.

"She has really made a difference in a lot of people's lives," says Eldad Hagar, whom Dogster profiled earlier this year. "In Atlanta, I met this young woman at a conference for animal bloggers who said that two days after she saw Fiona's video, she went and rescued a dog with no eyes. Fiona's story inspired her to rescue a dog with special needs."

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In addition to boosting adoption rates for special-needs dogs, Hagar says donations made in Fiona's honor have allowed the organization to help numerous other homeless animals. The Hagars and the Gentrys will be on hand Thursday (Nov. 8) when Fiona receives her award, as well as later that day during a meet-and-greet at their hotel. All are welcome to attend the meet-and-greet, which is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sheraton New York, 811 7th Avenue.

The ASPCA's 2012 Humane Awards luncheon will also honor others -- animal and human alike -- who have made a significant impact on the lives of animals. A kitty named Scooter from Fox Chapel, PA, will take home the Cat of the Year award. He was found abandoned on the street, his back legs useless, but like Fiona he received excellent veterinary care. Supporters even donated funds to purchase him a custom-made wheeled mobility device, and now he visits a nursing home and rehabilitation hospital weekly to inspire patients who lack mobility due to injury or stroke.

RELATED: Peanut: The Story of a Dog, a Skunk, Heavy Rain, and a Hambone Award

For a full list of honorees, visit the ASPCA website.

Meet Ramen Noodle the Two-Legged Poodle:

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Pamela Woods

How can i get a refuge started ,I totally love animals i would do anything for them .i would give my shirt of my back for theses precious little babies.

November 09 2012 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


what a wonderful story.. imagine if Fioana could speak and tell the rest of her story.. what would she say about the humans that causeed her such harm? She probably would still ove them..

November 09 2012 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carolyn W Johnson

all the dogs on here fiona and ramen noodle and all of the owner god bless you all i would do the same try help the animals i love animal

November 09 2012 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If I could I would take all these sweet little guys in. I have one guy now who is 16 yrs old and what a sweetie he is and I've had 8 or 9 that was given or homeless ones over the yrs. I just love all of them but this guy will be the last one I think becuse of my old age and would not be able to take care of them.

November 09 2012 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Little Fiona...precious baby. I am so happy she was rescued. Have a happy life Fiona!

November 09 2012 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks for taking care of Fiona!

November 09 2012 at 3:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Eldad from Hope for Paws is a wonderful human caring for these helpless animals. Instead of The Dog Whisperer he is The Dog Rescuer! He rescued our beautiful pups Sky & Apollo - thank you Eldad!

November 09 2012 at 2:59 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
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