LOVELL, Maine — In conjunction with State Farm Insurance and the "Kindness is Powerful" program, dog handler Richard Nash and Hudson the Railroad Puppy will visit several schools in Maine next week to share the "Kindness is Powerful" program with students.
In 2012, at 3 weeks old, Hudson was among three injured pit bull puppies found by Albany, N.Y., railroad workers nailed to the tracks in what the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society described as a "heartless" act of animal cruelty. All three dogs were dehydrated, malnourished, hypoglycemic and suffering from infection when they arrived at the shelter. Hudson's back paw was injured so badly that it had to be amputated.
Hudson and his litter mate Pearl, recovered. But the third puppy, Carina, died 48 hours after she was found. After several surgeries, Hudson was fitted for a prosthetic limb and became one of the first dogs in New York state to be fitted with a prosthetic paw.
Nash will share Hudson's story with students while giving them tips on being kind to animals, anti-bullying, accepting differences, dog bite prevention and responsible pet ownership. Each student will receive a special gift at the end of the session.
The two will visit New Suncook School in Lovell on Tuesday, June 20, at 9 a.m. and C.A. Snow in Fryeburg, Maine, that same day at 1 p.m.
On Wednesday, June 21, they will be at Brownfield/Denmark Elementary in Denmark at 9 a.m.
The Kindness is Powerful program will give students a hands on experience to educate them on interacting with dogs as well as learn safety tips. The ultimate goal is to reduce dog-related injuries.
Hudson is the 2015 winner of the American Humane Society Hero Dog Award. The American Humane Hero Dog Awards recognizes heroes on both ends of the leash. Eight finalists and their human companions are flown to Hollywood for a star-studded awards gala, which is broadvast nationwide on Hallmark Channel.
Kindness is Powerful is a new joint effort to educate children on dog safety. State Farm is teaming up with celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stilwell, kindness ambassador Megan Blake with Super Smiley, and Leah Brewer with 2013 Hero Dog of the Year, Elle the pit bull.
With the help of other handler/dog teams, Kindness is Powerful focuses on teaching the value of kindness, positivity, and how to be responsible around dogs. The campaign also focuses on children and providing messaging around the need for education on dog bite prevention.
Over the past decade, State Farm has paid out just over $1 Billion for dog-related injury claims. Sadly, children make up more than half of all dog bite victims. Dog bite claims averaged $6,500 per claim for injuries to residents in Maine, while New Jersey reports the highest dollar amount paid on dog-related claims countrywide – over $5 million. Dog bites are a serious public health problem that can cause both physical and emotional damage to victims and considerable cost to communities. As a member of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week (NDBPW) Coalition, State Farm is working to prevent dog bites and educate the public, especially children.
For more information, visit www.statefarm.com.