Students at Lebanon Road Elementary raised more than $1,300 for North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue (NMAR) – all to help a very special friend raise money during Gunny’s Pennies for Puppies drive.
Gunny is a pit bull who is also the official spokesdog for NMAR. He is one of the rescue organization’s biggest successes. A victim of dog-fighting, Gunny works with children to educate them about animal abuse. He also works with abused animals, teaching them to trust again.
Gunny’s owner, CMS Occupational Therapist Amy Murphy, adopted him from a shelter a week before he was scheduled to be euthanized. Despite his severe injuries and dark past, Gunny was immediately trusting and gentle.
Gunny is currently a semi-finalist in Bissell’s Most Valued Pet contest, which includes a $10,000 grand prize for the animal rescue of the winner’s choosing. Lebanon Road students voted eagerly for Gunny with the help of their parents.
“Gunny came in second place with nearly 3,500 entries,” Murphy said. “He got 1,588 votes in a one-week period."
Gunny has attended Lebanon Road character assemblies and teacher Jennifer Packard said she sees the influence he has had on the students.
“Students are very enthusiastic to speak with Amy when they see her, they show concern by asking after Gunny and the rescue,” Packard said. “They are super excited to vote for Gunny in this latest contest to try to win the $10,000 prize for the rescue.”
Teachers are using the contest to fuel students’ interests in math and social studies lessons, such as voting procedures and graphing.
Recently, Gunny has been working with Hope, another dog saved by the rescue who Murphy is currently fostering. Gunny entered and won The World’s Most Amazing Dog contest, winning Hope, who requires special food, a free year’s worth of food and the chance for Murphy to ride on a float at the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.
When she was rescued, Hope was nearly catatonic with fear, but after spending time with Gunny she has come out of her shell and is now looking for a permanent home.
Gunny was also featured in USA Today on Jan. 13, in an article called “True Stories of Heroic Dogs.” Click here to read the story.