ASPCA Humane Awards: Meet the Dog, Cat and Kid of the Year

Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 12:15pm
ASPCA Humane Award

A group of amazing people and animals will be honored today at the 2013 ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon in New York City. The annual ceremony recognizes special animals and individuals who made a positive and lasting impact during the past year.

The 2013 Humane Awards winners include:

ASPCA Cat of the Year

Koshka was a stray cat when she struck up a friendship with Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott at a base in southern Afghanistan. Koshka was a pleasant reminder of life at home in Oregon. Koshka stayed by Knott’s side, helping him through some of his darkest moments at war. Knott’s parents helped him bring Koshka home with him to Oregon, where she now peacefully resides.

2013 Cat of the Year

ASPCA Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year

Six-year-old Catherine Hubbard had a natural ability to connect and care for animals. She designed her own business cards and appointed herself head of “Catherine’s Animal Shelter” with the title “Care Taker.” On December 14, 2012, Catherine was among 20 children killed during a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Catherine’s parents chose to honor Catherine by asking that donations be made to The Animal Center in Newtown. With these funds, The Animal Center hopes to build the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary.

ASPCA Dog of the Year

In September 2012, an animal control officer in Dekalb County, Georgia, responded to a call reporting an extremely malnourished abandoned pit bull puppy. The officer took the fragile puppy, on the verge of death, to the Dekalb Animal Shelter. Chrissy Kaczynski, one of the founders of Friends of Dekalb Animals (FODA) took her home. Remarkably, the puppy bounced back, prompting Chrissy to name her Xena the Warrior Puppy. Xena later became a companion for eight-year-old Jonny, who is autistic. Jonny and Xena spread a message of compassion for both animals and those with autism throughout America and 89 countries, territories and provinces around the world.

2013 Dog of the Year

Meet all the winners of the 2013 ASPCA Humane Awards! Do you know of a heroic pet or a person who dedicates his or her life to animals? Tell us about your hero in the comments.

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I'm not disagreeing that these shelter dogs need loving homes, we have adopted pets as well. But everyone who comments saying that good, well meaning, responsible breeders should not be profiting and breeding because we already have too many pets in shelters is wrong. You admit that your dogs have confirmation problems because most likely they came from a mill, and my exact point is that breeders like Virgina are doing good things for dogs. If we say they can not breed anymore, then we are going to loose all the good qualities, confirmations, traits in breeds that we need, and you can never get that back. Where will we be in 20 years if all good breeders stop breeding until we solve the overpopulation problem? It's just not the answer.
Also, there are other reasons that people have pets/dogs in addition to companionship. There are work dogs, hunting dogs, guide dogs, etc. And they need to be breed specifically for those qualities and traits, you ask breeders to stop due to an overpopulation problem that stems mostly from mills and other irresponsible people, it's just wrong.


Sorry Michelle, breeders still add to the problem, you simply cannot ignore the numbers no matter how noble the ingentions of any breeder might be, they add dogs.....and not homes.


I am not saying that they don't add to the problem, I am saying that the solutions is to not ask them to stop breeding! That is simply not a viable solution...sorry Mary. Your proposing we stop all breeding of pure breed dogs, 20 years from now we will be left with nothing to breed from except mutts and dogs with bad confirmation and traits...that helps. And while we are at it, we might as well tell humans to stop reproducing because there are more than enough children in orphanages that need loving homes too!
I'm simply saying that as many commenter's have foolishly stated, that asking responsible breeders to stop is NOT A SOLUTION!


I agree. What you are saying is that we don't ask people who are doing good in the world (aka the responsible breeders) to stop what they are doing until all the bad people in world (aka the puppy mills and other irresponsible breeding) stop what they are doing. It'll never happen and it is not the solution to the problem.

Sharyn Ferrie

In our life we meet people who are giver's and those who are taker's and Virginia Bartnicki sounds like an amazing example of a giver to the tenth degree. Her life mirrors God's love here on earth. Reading about her dedication, not only her dogs but also to all those in need, is inspiring and also, comforting. Knowing there are good, decent and loving people in the world helps to off-set those who cause our hearts to break. Thank you for writing about Virginia and I cast my vote for her as well.


she still breeding dog went there so many dogs in shelter shejust making a profit please


That's great but if she is a breeder she's contributing to pet overpopulation. These "repeat customers" could (and should) adopt from shelters. She seems like a good person with a good heart, she should understand that her actions are contributing to overcrowding in shelters and unwanted pets.

DG Sifuentes

Very nice story, but I still live by the motto, 'don't shop, adopt'.

Audra Ashton B

This is so beautiful! These wonderful children and animals are such a blessing and an example of kindness and bravery to us all. Thank you for sharing.


You can follow Xena and Jonny on facebook @ Xena the Warrior Puppy. It's VERY inspiring - the whole family is awesome! I look forward to the posts every morning on my train ride into Center City Philly.