Each year, San Diego Humane Society recognizes extraordinary animals and animal lovers throughout the county
Meet the 2017 winners of the Animal Compassion Awards.
2017 HUMANE HERO
The Humane Hero Award recognizes an
individual, business, or group that goes above and beyond to create positive awareness of animals and the unconditional love they bring.
This year’s winner is Deputy District
Attorney Karra Reedy. Reedy has a history of vigorously prosecuting animal abuse cases in San Diego, from hoarding to attacks on beached seals. Most recently, she was instrumental in pursuing criminal charges against Christine Calvert and Mark Vattimo, the owners of 180 hoarded Yorkies who were seized by SDHS in January 2017. The couple is being charged with 10 felony counts of animal abuse and neglect each, as well as one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. They face a potential maximum of nine years in custody.
Reedy has been the strongest advocate in the DA’s office for the investigation and prosecution of crimes against animals, as well as the go-to prosecutor for SDHS Humane Law Enforcement and the county’s Department of Animal Services. Her advice and direction are priceless, and she cares deeply and wants to see justice for animals who have suffered at the hands of humans. She is the leading voice in the courtroom for those unable to speak for themselves.
Outside the court, Reedy teaches Humane Law Enforcement officers about the criminal justice system and gives lectures to the SDHS Humane Academies, the county’s Animal Control Academy and other groups committed to animal welfare.
2017 ANIMAL IMPACT AWARD
The Animal Impact Award recognizes a moving story that demonstrates the powerful and unique relationship between humans and animals. It highlights how an animal has impacted a human life in an extraordinary way, or vice versa.
This year’s Animal Impact Award goes to Phoebe, a service dog trained by Love Heels Canine Partners and given to Nicholas Fox of Rancho Bernardo, who has autism. Phoebe has developed a very strong bond with Nicholas over the past three years, keeping him safe and helping him relate to the world socially and in other ways. Her love has impacted every member of Nick’s family.
Nick’s mother, Michele Fox, says Phoebe even provided him great comfort when his grandfather passed away in April 2016. “Phoebe had an incredible bond with my dad, especially during his last days,” Michele says. “On a few occasions she knew I was sad and crying, because she came over and gave me some loving licks. Phoebe’s heartwarming relationship with my son and the entire family is why we submitted her nomination. She has truly impacted each one of us, making our home a happier one.”
“Phoebe’s presence makes me feel happy, safe, relaxed and accepted,” says Nick. “She has nothing but love in her heart. I am so happy she received this award. She’s my awesome service dog and friend who’s helping me through my journey with autism. She has my back, for sure!”
2017 PET-FRIENDLY BUSINESSES
Readers voted on top local businesses and destinations that promote and support pet-friendly environments.
Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant
Lazy Dog in Mission Valley
This restaurant chain loves dogs and their people. At Lazy Dog, your pooch is welcome to dine with you on their large, dog-friendly patio. There’s even a special menu dedicated to your furry friend.
Best Pet-Friendly Hotel
The Loews Loves Pets program makes traveling with your pet a pleasure. A stay at this resort destination is a pet lover’s dream, from treats at check-in to supplies like pet beds and litter boxes, not to mention a veterinarian-formulated menu. Talk about all-inclusive.
Best Pet-Friendly Housing
Key Suites Corporate Housing
A “home away from home” for temporary and long-term stays with both furnished and unfurnished options throughout San Diego County. Units include Wi-Fi, cable TV and parking—all the creature comforts for both your two- and four-legged family members.
A stress-free day of pampering awaits your dog at several locations across the county. Groomers provide everything from basic nail, bath and brush service to specialty trims that showcase your dog’s unique personality.
Best Pet Sitter
Oh Happy Dog!
This pet care provider promises to give your pets the love and attention they deserve when you can’t be there. Their small, dedicated staff of trained professionals do everything from pet sitting to exercise, potty breaks and more.
Best Dog Beach
Go leash-free most places on this Mission Bay island, with lots of sandy coastline and calm bay waters for your dog to romp and roam.
Best Dog Park
Grape Street Dog Park
This popular large, open grassy space is frequented by local residents and often draws dogs and their people from outside its South Park neighborhood. The park features picnic tables, bathrooms and water faucets for both you and your thirsty pup.
Best Pet Boutique
As their name implies, this Hillcrest pet business takes a holistic approach to pet care. Howlistic offers a selection of natural pet food and treats, eco-friendly products and dog wash stations featuring its exclusive line of gentle shampoos and conditioners.
Best Dog Wash
Hairy and Merry
This Little Italy business has the distinction of being the only dog wash in San Diego to offer a self-serve dog shower station that’s ADA-compliant and great for larger dogs. Services include a range of wash options, grooming, training, daycare and overnight care at their boutique pet hotel.
Best Boarding Kennel
Fon Jon Pet Care
San Diego’s first kennel as well as the city’s only indoor-outdoor option offers daycare and training for dogs, bathing for dogs and cats, and more.