2015 Companion Animal of the Year

(Animals who have provided a benefit to their human companions or their community)

Boudie (dog), Wayne Halverson (owner) Dr. Heather Fairbairn (Veterinarian)

Boudie is an amazing Golden Retriever dog helping people of all ages.  Boudie is actively involved with the Pet Away Worry and Stress (PAWS) program at the U of M.  For the past 3 years Boudie has made weekly appearances to provide stress relief and life skill development for students.  Boudie and his owner are specially trained in Animal Assisted Interactions.  His support is not limited to the U of M work but he also makes visits to St. Catherine’s for de-stress events for winter and spring final exams.  He has been a practice patient for students involved in the Future Vets program.  One of his greatest assets is working with children with animal phobias.

2015 Professional Animal of the Year

(Animals especially trained to assist humans)

Shade (dog), Angela DelGreco (owner), Dr. Dennis Bechtold (veterinarians) 


Shade is a German Shepherd service dog that provide valuable service to its owner.  He is professionally trained as a hearing signal assistance dog.  He is also trained therapy dog that visits the elderly and sick.  He is very intelligent and in tune with peoples feelings and needs, and is able to adapt his visits depending on an individual’s needs.  Shade’s owner was in a car accident with Shade providing ongoing personal and daily assistance to his owner.           

2015 Hero Animal of the Year

(Animals who have saved or preserved human life) 

Hercules (Horse), Sheryl Ferguson (owner), U of M Equine Center (veterinary facility)



Hercules is no mythical Greek hero but he has done some pretty amazing things if you consider that the blood that he donates saves lives.  Hercules is a 2,000 pound horse blood donor through a new blood donor program at the University of Minnesota’s Equine Center.  He is capable of giving eight to ten liters of blood at a time.  His blood is then given to other horses in need of blood.  Hercules has become a mascot of sorts for the Equine Center and has participated in events as a way to raise awareness and funds for the Equine Center.

  2014 Animal Hall of Fame Awards