In Honor

Annually the Foundation celebrates a rehabilitated rescue or service dog who has defied great odds and goes on to perform incredible acts of strength and honor. Learn about our heroes below.

If you would like to support the efforts of the Foundation’s grantees with a donation in honor of an outstanding individual or animal, email savelives@purrnpoochfoundation.org.

IN HONOR OF MAC DERASKA MALINOWSKI
2013 SUMMER GALA CANINE HONOREE

The Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals Board of Trustees

In-Honor-MaxMac’s life began with hardship and horror at the hands of abusers, but his luck turned around when an animal group from New York rescued him and in the spring of 2013 the arthritic senior returned the favor by miraculously saving his family from a fire. “Mac’s story is about a beaten dog who was given a chance to live and then proved himself worthy of life by fulfilling a life mission,” says Dick Palazzo, Owner, Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts. “Mac’s story is especially touching because of my personal connection to the dog. His resilient spirit will undoubtedly inspire stories of survival and hope.”

Read more about Mac’s story in Dog Fancy magazine >

IN HONOR OF K-9 OFFICER JORDAN,
SALEM CITY, NJ POLICE DEPARTMENT
2012 BLACK TAIL GALA CANINE HONOREE

The Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals Board of Trustees

In-Honor-JordanSalem City, NJ K-9 Officer Jordan is a German shepherd, certified in patrol and narcotics and the only K-9 officer in his department. Jordan was shot in the left side of his chest on January 26th, 2011 after he and Salem City police officers responded to a 911 call. Jordan was immediately treated at the Tri-County Veterinary Hospital in Pilesgrove, NJ then transported to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital in Philadelphia where donations helped to pay for Jordan’s medical expenses.
 “Jordan returned to work four-months after the shooting like nothing ever happened to him, which amazes me. He is my best friend and my hero,” said Sergeant Bill Robinson, Salem City Police Department. “Jordan loves to go to work with me and in down time he loves to play fetch with his Kong ball like any other family pet. Jordan is my second K-9 partner and it’s an honor to serve with him.”
”It’s critical that we bring to light the important role K-9 dogs like Jordan play in the safety of communities across New Jersey and the country,” said Koren Palazzo Spadavecchia, Vice President, Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals. “K-9 programs assist police departments in their efforts to provide communities with the most efficient police teams possible. They are the unsung heroes in our community.”

IN HONOR OF THERAPY DOG ERIN MCCARTHY
2011 BLACK TAILS GALA CANINE HONOREE

The Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals Board of Trustees

In-Honor-ErinHarlequin Great Dane Erin McCarthy is the companion of Julie and Jack McCarthy. The family, formerly of Monmouth Beach, NJ, currently resides in North Sutton, New Hampshire where Erin works at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in the “Hug a Hound” program. Erin visits the hospital weekly where she brings joy, smiles and promotes a release of emotions for patients, staff, family members and visitors. “Lots of love and patience have brought Erin to where she is as a therapy dog. The training with positive reinforcement takes time. The dogs must pass their Canine Good Citizenship and Therapy Dog International certifications. It is extremely rewarding to see the positive changes in people when your dog visits patients. As a volunteer, you receive as much, or more back, from the experience as from the people you visit,” said Julie McCarthy.

IN HONOR OF GRACE O’ROURKE
2010 BLUE MOON BARK BALL CANINE HONOREE

The Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals Board of Trustees

In-Honor-Grace-&-ChrisGrace, a German Shepherd rescued and rehabilitated in 2010 by Dick Palazzo, was inspiration for the Foundation’s first Canine Award. Palazzo, a widely regarded trainer and behaviorist, asked a New Jersey shelter to give the German Shepherd, deemed aggressive and marked for death, “thirty days of grace” to stay alive so he may restore her trust and confidence in people. He worked hand-in-paw with the rescue, who he later named Grace. This story of hope inspired daughters Koren and Betsy to establish the Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals on the special occasion of the 40th Anniversary of Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts, their parents’ luxury boarding and daycare business. To this day, Grace has been wonderful and although happy endings for needy animals are far too uncommon, her story has given the Foundation the same thing Dick gave Grace – hope.