Benny the ice skating dog wins national award

He can push a wheelchair. He can swim. He models sideways, but the jaw-dropping thing across the country is when Benny, a Golden Retriever, has his ice skates on.

Las Vegas resident Cheryl Del Sangro said Benny was one day away from euthanasia when Las Vegas Labrador Rescue helped her pick up Benny from an adoption agency in Salt Lake City seven years ago . The puppy had been at the shelter for six months.

Today, the 8-year-old rescue dog is the new recipient of the American Kennel Club’s Exemplary Companion Award. The AKC cited his appearances at Vegas Golden Knights games and his work with Spectrum On Ice, an ice skating program for children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

“My life with Benny has been a huge adventure,” said Del Sangro. “We go to a lot of dog stuff. I have never met a dog that has all of its qualities.

Benny first stepped on the ice in 2018 to make a video for the Golden Knights in their attempt to win the Stanley Cup. Del Sangro, a professional figure skater who retired after 20 years of teaching on the ice, made ice skates for the puppy. He figured it out in a day.

At a fundraising event for the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Wednesday night, people applauded Benny and made fun of their friends as the dog walked past them. Benny held his 2-foot-long hockey stick in his mouth, his tail wagging as he followed Del Sangro around the ice.

Since that 2018 video, Benny and Del Sangro have traveled to attend figure skating competitions and the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Game. Del Sangro’s next goal is to take Benny to the Rockefeller Center ice rink in New York City. She said she never charges a fee and encourages all sites to donate to an adoption agency.

“Benny is the poster puppy for adoption,” she said. “If you can get a dog out of the pound that becomes a freak like him, what more could you ask for?” “

Del Sangro said Benny is the only dog ​​she knows who can ice skate. To maintain his talents, Benny makes frequent visits to the veterinarian and chiropractor.

“I want to share it with everyone as long as they can do it comfortably,” she said.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at [email protected] or 702-383-0278. To follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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