|Maywood's Selina, a Chihuahua mix, was left with a partially paralyzed hind end after being hit by a car.|
The New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association Animal Hall of Fame Committee has selected four dogs, two animal welfare advocates and Peking duck for induction into the 20th Annual NJVMA Animal Hall of Fame.
A dearly departed wild bird educator and preservationist, a decorated police dog that leaves a lasting legacy, a partially paralyzed Chihuahua mix that isn’t held back by her handicap, an intuitive American bull dog that comforts cancer patients, a veterinarian who does outreach and training with several local agencies, an endearing golden retriever that calms college students and a very special Peking duck will all be honored on Sun., March 8 with induction into the NJVMA Animal Hall of Fame.
The luncheon honoring this year’s inductees will begin at noon on Sun., March 8 at the Wyndham Hamilton Park Hotel & Conference Center in Florham Park.
The event is open to the public and ticket information is available on the Hall of Fame website: www.njvma.org/animal-hall-of-fame/.
This year’s hall of fame inductees are:
--SELINA: Selina, a Chihuahua mix, was left with a partially paralyzed hind end after being hit by a car. Selina’s handicap doesn’t hold her back. Equipped with a wheelchair and positive attitude, she is the official greeter at Maywood Veterinary Clinic. Selina was nominated by her owner Melissa Stevens and Dr. Jay Buchholz of Maywood Veterinary Clinic in Maywood.
--LEN SOUCY AND THE RAPTOR TRUST: In 2014 we said goodbye to Len Soucy, founder of The Raptor Trust in Millington. Len Soucy dedicated much of his adult life to the protection and preservation of the wild bird population and education the public about wild birds, especially birds of prey. Dr. Soucy was nominated by Dr. R. Wayne Randolph of Countryside Veterinary Hospital in Flemington.
--K9 DANO: Police K9 Dano had 12 years of dedicated service in the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office. As narcotics detection specialists, he and his partner Captain Tim Pino were responsible for a number of large profile drug busts. Dano passed away in December of 2014, but his legacy lives on in his outstanding service record and “Dano’s Law”, which calls for enhanced penalties for threatening law enforcement animals. Dano was nominated by Captain Tim Pino and Dr. John A. North of Somerset Veterinary Group in Bridgewater.
--GRACE: Grace is a regular visitor to the Cancer Center at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington. Her specialty is to help ease the anxiety of both patients and their loved ones while at the center for treatment. Grace was nominated by her owner Jennifer Beylickjian and Dr. Suzanne Smith of Spring Mills Veterinary Hospital in Milford.
--DR. CATALINA MONTEALEGRE: In addition to Dr. Catalina Montealegre’s work at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Linwood, she volunteers doing outreach and training programs for local fire departments, shelters, county emergency response teams, dog clubs and schools, just to name a few. Dr. Montealegre was nominated by Dr. Susan Montenegro of Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Linwood.
--RECON: Recon is an 8-year-old Golden Retriever and a member of Therapy Dogs International. He makes regular visits to a number of New Jersey’s colleges and universities. Recon was nominated by his owner Laura Treutlein and Dr. Elizabeth Boggier of Mountainview Veterinary Hospital in Rockaway.
--BENTLEY: Bentley, a Peking duck, wandered onto a Brick Township property last spring. Bentley is domesticated and is essentially a farm animal, but he is wary of humans. In October 2014, Bentley was attacked by another animal and was transported to the Ocean County Veterinary Hospital in Lakewood. Bentley was nominated by Dr. Daniel Golodik of Ocean County Veterinary Hospital in Lakewood.