Meet Scarlett, the 5-Pound Shelter Dog Being Called a Hero

Because of what Scarlett has endured, she’s gotten the attention of American Humane judges and is up for the 2021 American Hero Dog Awards

Although she only weighs five-and-a-half pounds, Scarlett the Shih Tzu is quite vivacious. The 6-year-old pup from Tennessee has had a rough go at life as she was born with Spina Bifida. “She was born without part of her spine, she is missing her tail, and her back legs are very narrow compared to the front, and they are very weak,” says her owner, Michelle Smith.

This owner ended up rescuing Scarlett the day before she was scheduled to be euthanized. And she's been enjoying her best life ever since. “She’s just a little spitfire. She is happy all the time, just a bundle of joy,” said Michelle. “She gets around great. She runs like you wouldn’t believe. She’s very fast.”

Because of what Scarlett has gone through and how she’s persevered, she’s gotten the attention of judges at the American Humane and is up for the 2021 American Hero Dog Awards. The event honors the goodest of doggos who’ve survived the challenges they’ve endured. There are several categories, including service dogs, shelter dogs, therapy dogs, and military dogs.

Michelle Smith has been a fan of the event and knew that Scarlett would be a great candidate. “We’ve followed the hero dog awards for years, and I always thought she really deserves to be recognized because she is a little hero. We want people to know you can adopt a special needs dog, and she is so much easier than any dog I’ve ever had.”

You can follow Scarlett’s journey and vote at through May 6. The winner will be featured on the Hallmark Channel in the fall.

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