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Jonny and Xena
An abused pup's remarkable friendship with a boy with autism.
Xena and Jonny - Who Rescued Who

April is both Autism Awareness and Prevention of Animal Cruelty month. This story of Jonny, the eight-year-boy with autism, and Xena, the horribly abused Pit Bull, present a powerful and heart-warming tale about survival and the indescribable bond we have with dogs. The pup was severely abused and starving to death when she came into the DeKalb (Georgia) Animal Services shelter, she was given only an one percent chance of survival. Jonny’s mom, Linda Hickey, had been following the pup’s story on Facebook and decided to take the chance that this pup would be the perfect match for her son. See how right she was!

Xena won the ASPCA’s Hero of the Dog Award in 2013, and is now in the running for the “emerging dog hero” award from the American Humane Association.

Linda Hickey poignantly tells their story in this video. Watch it to see why Xena deserves your vote.

For more, see this recent interview as well. 

And watch Jonny sing “You Got a Friend in Me” to his best pal, Xena.


Claudia Kawczynska is The Bark's co-founder and Editor-in-Chief.


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