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OHS Diamond Collar Hero Awards Go to Pets and People
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Tony Platt and Midnight  
Scott Heiser  
Sooty and Jean Schifferns  

Terra Spencer, Leopold Ketel & Partners






Note: All photos by Andrea Lorimor.



Feb. 17, 2011:  The Oregon Humane Society honored five heroes on February 17 with Diamond Collar Awards recognizing pets and people for remarkable achievements in helping others. The honorees ranged from the "school cat" of Portland's Llewellyn School to an attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

"The Diamond Collar Awards are a chance to celebrate the heroic stories that exemplify how important pets are in our lives,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS Executive Director. "All these winners showed compassion, courage and a desire to help their community," said Harmon. More than 350 people attended the ceremony at the Governor Hotel in Portland, which also raised over $128,000 for pets in need. The presenting sponsor of the awards was Wentworth Subaru City.

The winners of yesterday's Diamond Collar Awards were:

Tony Platt: This Tigard resident is a long-time volunteer OHS foster parent who took responsibility for an abused puppy caught in legal limbo. While the case against Midnight's abuser went through the courts, Tony raised Midnight from a puppy to an adult dog. Because Midnight was evidence in a court case, Tony had to rearrange his life so he could always be with Midnight --never letting him out of his sight. When the court case ended after 15 months and Midnight was legally ready for adoption, Tony went to extraordinary lengths to find the best new family to adopt him.

Scott Heiser: Scott Heiser served as the District Attorney of Benton County for eight years, making the prosecution of animal cruelty cases a top priority. Now living in SW Portland, Heiser is the Director of the Criminal Justice Program for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. He has been instrumental in advancing the rights of animals. Working within the system, he successfully developed new legal strategies that have brought more animal offenders to justice while also getting abused pets out legal limbo and into the care of loving families. Heiser also spreads his message throughout the country, teaching animal advocates how to better protect pets using existing laws.

Sooty: Sooty started his life as a feline blood donor. His temperament led him to being an “educator” at Llewellyn School in SE Portland for six years. While there, elementary school students learned valuable lessons of compassion, patience and love. Children who struggled to write had no problems finding the words when the subject matter was Sooty. Sooty consistently sought out children who seemed to be struggling the most, giving them comfort with his purrs.


Leopold Ketel & Partners: Since June of 2002, LKP has dedicated themselves to helping the pets of OHS. Accepting no money for their creative services over the last eight years, LKP has contributed more than 4.5 million dollars in in-kind media for OHS and has developed award-winning marketing campaigns, including the current "End Petlessness" campaign. Their work is credited with bringing more visitors to the shelter, increasing the number of volunteers, and boosting adoptions.


Maty: Maty is a three-legged Australian shepherd who serves as the Humane Education dog for the Humane Society of Central Oregon in Bend. Despite having just three legs, Maty became the first dog to compete in the Skyhoundz World Disc Championship. She also spends much of her time visiting hospitals and schools, bringing a message of inspiration and hope to patients, students and people from all walks of life. Maty's other exceptional role is as a nanny dog to feral kittens. These kittens are usually hostile to people and other animals, but Maty has a special knack of making feral kittens feel comforted and unafraid, paving the way for the kittens to be adopted more quickly.




See video presentations about each winner here.