7/11 Hero is World's Top Dog

Mumbai Mirror

  • 4-yr-old Labrador from Thane who helped city’s blast victims overcome trauma is voted the world’s most ‘socially helpful dog’ by a Washington-based group

Mumbai, Nov 14: A city dog that helped several victims of the July 2006 train blasts overcome the trauma has been voted the world's most 'socially helpful dog' in an online poll.

Kutty, a four-and-a-half-year-old Labrador owned by Shyamsri Bhosale, a resident of Thane, won the award beating 10,000 dogs from across the globe in a poll conducted by Delta Society, an organisation devoted to improving human health through animal therapy.

Confirming the honour, David Free, media coordinator for Washington-based Delta Society, said: "Kutty had an impressive profile and was a natural contender to be in the final fives. She won the title against stiff competition."

Kutty's profile on the Delta website (deltasociety.org) describes her as 'extremely well behaved and calm and well mannered.' It adds that she worked as a therapy dog for 'Rahat Ka Ehsaas',  a project by Rotary Club, Bombay Psychiatric Society, Animal Angels Foundation and King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital Mumbai. The project was a rehabilitation program for the victims of the 7/11 Mumbai train blasts where Kutty helped in comforting the family members of the victims and also helped the people disabled in the blasts.

Kutty's trainer, Minal Lonkar-Kavishwar, said she could not describe her happiness. "I did not expect Kutty to win. Just imagine, there were 10,000 dogs in the reckoning. It's amazing.

But I think she deserves it,” Minal said on Tuesday November 13 evening, just hours after receiving the news from Delta Society.

Kutty’s owner, Shyamsri Bhosale, who runs Jidd, a school for special children in Thane, said she is ecstatic. “It’s unbelievable. I had never imagined Kutty would do so well. But I think she deserves it for the selfless work she has carried out over the years,” she said.

Kutty helps Bhosale’s students learn to communicate. “Kutty is my students’ best friend. You got to see to believe how well they connect with each other. I have seen them reading out stories to Kutty. They tell her things they would not even share with me or their parents,” she said.

Apart from a cash award, Kutty will be felicitated at a function in Washington. “We will communicate the dates for the felicitation ceremony soon,” said Free.


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