Celebrating Pet Heroes at the 2016 Purina Canada Animal Hall of Fame
By The Get Leashed Special Events Crew
While the inductees of the 2016 Animal Hall of Fame are cute and cuddly, they didn’t become part of this prestigious circle because they are dog models, or have a million Instagram followers.
The dogs honored at the #AHOF are real heroes.
Like Lonca, the two year old German shepherd whose story stole the hearts of our Get Leashed team.
A few short years ago, Constable Steve Balice of the Toronto Police Service was paired with Lonca, a new addition to the TPS K9 Unit. The two were a perfect match, often challenging each other’s limits and pushing one another to overcome obstacles. On a routine work day, Steve and Lonca were called to assist with the execution of a search warrant – nothing unusual in the day-to-day life of a police dog. When they arrived, a male suspect was attempting to flee the scene and Lonca leapt into action to apprehend him. Then the situation turned dangerous. To Balice’s horror, the suspect had a weapon – a machete. The man began to slash Lonca repeatedly, but the dog refused to relent under the force of his attacker. The man took blow after blow but Lonca held his grip long enough for officers to step in and seize the assailant. Thanks to Lonca, the suspect was safely put into custody.
Despite his injuries, Lonca wasn’t done. He led Balice back to the scene where he helped two task force officers restrain and arrest another suspect. Bleeding heavily from the face and paw, Lonca was rushed to the veterinary emergency hospital where he was treated with stitches and staples. Not only did Lonca get his man, he also prevented a dangerous situation from escalating into that of the unthinkable.
Lonca’s attacker will be the first person charged under Quanto’s law, which makes it a serious offense to harm a service animal. A step toward justice for the other brave animals who help protect society and fight for law and order.
We’d like to thank Lonca and Constable Balice, along with K9 units everywhere who work relentlessly to keep our cities safe.
For more incredible stories from this year’s #AHOF inductees visit here.