Once-Neglected "Ethan the Dog" Now Nominated for Prestigious Hero Dog Award

Very big news for a very good boy.

Ethan the Dog
Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Callaway

Life just keeps getting better for Ethan the dog.

The mastiff first made headlines in January 2021, when he was left in the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) parking lot more than 50 pounds underweight and on the brink of death. Unable to walk or even lift his head, vets estimated that he had a 10-20% percent chance of survival.

Despite the odds, Ethan recovered as tens and thousands of fans followed his journey on social media. Today he is healthy, happy, and living with a KHS staff member, Jeff Callaway.

Ethan now goes to work at the humane society with Callaway every day, comforting and interacting with sick animals who are recovering from anything from spaying or neutering to limb removal. He recently supported another KHS dog named Travolta through his recovery after he too was found abandoned and severely emaciated.

"He loves all animals," Callaway told Southern Living. "Cats and dogs alike."

Ethan's trauma and miraculous recovery has made him a poster child for pet adoption and shelter pets. His good work and ambassadorship haven't gone unnoticed. In November 2022 he was awarded the 2022 American Humane Hero Dog Award—the most prestigious honor in the world of doggy do-gooding.

"Whether its saving lives on the battlefield, lending sight or hearing to a human companion, or locating missing persons, dogs do so much to improve and even save our lives every day," Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, said in a news release. "The Hero Dog Awards is our way of celebrating the power of the human-animal bond, which has been a core part of our organization's mission for 145 years. We hope you will join us in recognizing our nation's furry heroes."

The seven categories for 2022 include Law Enforcement and Detection Dogs, Military Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs, Shelter Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs and Guide/Hearing Dogs. Ethan was nominated in the Shelter Dogs category.

The top dog in each category appeared at the star-studded Hero Dog Awards gala on November 11 in Palm Beach, Florida, and one of the seven will be named the 2022 American Hero Dog.

WATCH: Ethan the Dog Uses Second Chance at Life to Inspire Others, Bring Comfort to Sick Animals

Dog lovers across the country are invited to visit herodogawards.org and vote once per day for their favorite contender in each of the seven categories. After the first round of voting ends, semi-finalists (the top three in each category) will move on to the second round of voting.

Good luck to Ethan and to all the other very good boys and girls.

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