Oregon Animal Hall of Fame™: 2013 Inductees
Each year, the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and the Oregon Animal Health Foundation honor animals who, through unselfish and courageous accomplishments, exemplify the affection, loyalty, security, public service, and value of the human-animal bond.
The Oregon Animal Hall of Fame™ is the second longest running awards program among veterinary organizations in the country. Since the program was started in 1988, the OVMA and the OAHF have recognized dogs, cats, an animal welfare group, a horse therapy group, horses, and one llama! Animals are inducted into the Oregon Animal Hall of Fame™ during the Oregon Veterinary Conference in Corvallis. See below for a list of past inductees.
Following are the 2013 inductees:
The Companion award recognizes animals who have provided a benefit to their human companions or their community.
Owned by Marcia Solomon
Nominated by Dr. Julia Moore, West Hills Animal Hospital, Covallis
Eleven years ago, Marcia Solomon brought a four-month old Lakeland Terrier named Lily into her life. As a certified therapy dog, Lily began visiting nursing homes and hospitals, and Marcia soon realized that her dog’s connection with people was remarkable.
Each time Lily enters a room she brings her magical touch, and soon smiles are lighting up the faces of those facing illness or loneliness. Because of Lily’s special abilities, Marcia expanded her work to include hospice patients and pre-school children with special needs such as autism and developmental disabilities.
At the age of seven, Lily enrolled in Dog Scouts of America, an organization similar to the Boy Scouts of America, and she excelled in almost all of their badge work, earning badges in agility, rally obedience and similar endeavors. But it was in music and art therapy where Lily really came into her own.
Lily has been taught to play several musical instruments, including a small piano, the drums, a tambourine, and a ukulele. She also paints in her spare time, with Marcia displaying several of Lily’s better works in her home. Lily is also an integral part of the Corvallis READ program, spending many hours at the local library and schools, helping children learn how to read.
Lily also is a fixture at charity events and helps to raise money for homeless pets. At one particular event, Lily wore a Cinco de Mayo costume and played the tambourine. At another event, she climbed aboard the back of a 100 pound tortoise.
Together, Lily and Marcia have become integral in the Corvallis community, where their presence and impact has been felt by many. By devoting their lives to helping others in need, Lily and Marcia exemplify the values of the human-animal connection.
Lily and owner Marsha Solomon (r) with veterinarian Dr. Julia Moore (l) of West Hills Animal Hospital, Corvallis
Read more about Lily:
This award recognizes animals specifically trained for service or assistance.
Owned by Debra Hamilton
Nominated by Dr. Julia Moore, West Hills Animal Hospital, Corvallis
Ryerson also receives veterinary care from Dr. Sandy Smalley, Edgewood Animal Clinic, Eugene.
According to Debra Hamilton of Eugene, Ryerson is one special dog. For the past six-plus years, this amazing 8-year-old black Labrador has been her eyes.
Ryerson excelled in his training with the Guide Dogs for the Blind program, and he was one of the first two guide dogs nationally that were trained in a pilot program to assist clients in wheelchairs.
Ryerson is so good at what he does that he inspired Debra to leave her wheelchair behind and trust her partner completely – trust in his ability to keep her safe and secure.
Even when Ryerson is off duty, he continues to guide Debra and watches over her. And according to Debra’s sighted friends, Ryerson will attempt to guide them if he senses any need or form of danger.
Debra, in turn, strived to bring a sense of balance to Ryerson’s life with her. Since he tends to be a workaholic, she tries to allow time for Ryerson to “just be a dog.” Despite her blindness, she takes him for leash walks without his harness so that he can exercise without the responsibility of guiding and without the restriction of the harness.
And in order to maintain Ryerson’s strength and muscle mass, Debra provides him with high quality veterinary care, which includes weekly rehabilitation therapy in an underwater treadmill at West Hills Animal Hospital in Corvallis.
According to Dr. Julia Moore, the bond that everyone at West Hills has observed between Ryerson and Debra is profound and awe-inspiring. Their love and connection for each other is obvious in everything they do.
Ryerson has devoted himself to Debra and given her a much higher level of freedom and independence than she could have achieved on her own. With Ryerson by her side, there are no obstacles for Debra.
Ryerson with owner Debra Hamilton
Read more about Ryerson and Debra:
The Hero award recognizes animals who have saved or preserved a life.
Owned by Scott Tate
Nominated by Dr. Karen Laidley, Cinder Rock Veterinary Clinic, Redmond
Hunter was but a puppy when Scott Tate brought the German Shorthaired Pointer into his home in 2005.
From the outset of their lives together, Scott noticed Hunter’s joy and love for everyone that he came in contact with. And as Hunter developed and started to mature, he had an uncanny knack for recognizing when someone was down or needed a little extra attention and love.
By the time Hunter was three years old, his nightly ritual was to curl up next to Scott’s bed and spend the night on the floor next to his owner. Scott has always been a deep sleeper but, one night, Hunter, in an attempt to awaken Scott, pulled him with such force that he nearly pulled him out of the bed.
Hunter was shaking uncontrollably and whining, and would not leave Scott alone. Frustrated with his dog’s behavior, Scott turned on a bedside lamp and saw his girlfriend, Jamie, in the throes of a Grand Mal Seizure. Scott immediately dialed 9-1-1, while Hunter jumped onto the bed and lay by Jamie’s side.
When Jamie’s seizure subsided, Scott realized that she was not breathing and started to perform CPR on her. As he recalls that night, he also clearly remembers that Hunter never left Jamie’s side – not when she began and continued to convulse, and not when Scott began resuscitating his girlfriend. Even when Jamie’s seizure caused her to bang hard into Hunter, the dog didn’t flinch and remained next to her. Hunter kept Jamie from falling off the bed.
When the paramedics arrived, Scott led them into the bedroom, where Hunter was emitting loud whines and licking Jamie’s face. According to Scott, she had had stopped breathing for a second time.
The paramedics stabilized Jamie, and it was later determined that she had epilepsy.
Without Hunter’s persistence and determination to awaken Scott, it is possible that Jamie could have died. While Scott and the paramedics were able to medically assist Jamie, in Scott’s eyes, Hunter is the real hero.
Sadly, Hunter was euthanized two weeks ago after a diagnosis of advanced hemangiosarcoma.
Hunter was presented with his award posthumously
Read more about Hunter's story:
Recognizes animals who have saved or preserved a life.
- 1988 Big Red (dog), Sam (cat)
- 1989 Hadji (dog), Morgan (dog)
- 1991 Max (dog)
- 1992 Missy (dog)
- 1993 Gunner (dog)
- 1997 Helga & Tad (dogs)
- 2000 Sheba (dog)
- 2002 Ceasar (dog)
- 2003 Pillsbury (dog)
- 2004 Sunny (dog)
- 2005 Chassa (dog)
- 2009 Zar (dog)
- 2011 Brodie (dog)
- 2012 Jakob (dog)
- 2013 Hunter (dog)
Recognizes animals who have provided a benefit to their human companions or their community.
- 1994 Solo (cat)
- 1999 Project Pooch
- 2002 Howard (dog)
- 2003 Jesse (dog)
- 2005 “Ginger” (dog)
- 2006 Cassidy (cat)
- 2007 Daniel (dog)
- 2008 Gracie (dog)
- 2009 Ace (dog)
- 2010 Rusty (dog)
- 2011 Bosa (dog)
- 2012 Dottie (dog)
- 2013 Lily (dog)
Recognizes animals specifically trained for service or assistance.
- 1990 Sparkle (dog)
- 1994 Ranger (dog)
- 1998 Horses for the Physically Challenged
- 2001 Cajun (dog)
- 2002 Kate (dog)
- 2003 Camas (llama)
- 2004 Rikki (horse)
- 2005 Gleason (dog)
- 2006 Snert & Jake (dogs)
- 2007 Annie (dog)
- 2008 Butterscotch (horse)
- 2011 Doc (dog)
- 2012 Nelson (dog)
- 2013 Ryerson (dog)