Rescued Dog Wins ASPCA’s Dog of the Year Title

Xena the Warrior Puppy has just been named the Dog of the Year in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Humane Awards. She underwent trying times, and was found malnourished and abused in Dekalb County, Ga. Xena was taken in by Officer Chrissy Kaczynski, who is also a founder of Friends of Dekalb Animals, an organization that works with rescue groups.

When the puppy made a miraculous recovery, she was named Xena, after the warrior princess television show. Soon a Facebook page was set up to fund additional treatment for the dog.

According to ASPCA, after a party was thrown in the dog’s honor, an autistic 8-year-old boy named Jonny Hickey met Xena and the two bonded. Shortly after, the pair became friends, Jonny started to communicate more by talking and singing.

“He is the happiest child that I’ve ever seen him be in eight years,” Linda Hickey, Jonny’s mother, told the “Today” show.

Now the duo help promote awareness of various causes, including preventing animal cruelty. Xena took part in the Atlanta Dog Jog and the Atlanta Autism Speaks walk, and received a medal from the Georgia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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