Lawrenceville canine honored with Dogs of Valor award

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Titan, the Lawrenceville pit bull who saved his owner Gloria Benton's life -- twice -- earned third place in the Humane Society of the United States' national "Dogs of Valor" contest thanks to the public's votes.

On Tuesday morning, Jessica DuBois, Georgia senior state director of the HSUS, traveled to the Benton family's jewelry store on the Lawrenceville square to present Titan's crystal scroll plaque, a sterling silver pet tag by Bella Tocca Tags, a book and a $50 Humane Domain merchandise certificate .

"I think he won because he saved her life, which is just amazing," DuBois said. "There is so much negative press about these dogs and there are incidents where unfortunate circumstances happen, but overall, the breed is an amazing breed. They are made not to be gentle by humans. (HSUS) thinks he deserves all the credit that he gets because he is an example of what the breed really is."

Titan, a 5-year-old pit bull, saved owner Gloria's life last July. Her husband, John, was set to leave for work when Titan got between him and the door and began whining, then running up and down the stairs.

John finally walked upstairs and discovered Gloria lying on the ground bleeding from her head. Doctors later said she had suffered an aneurysm and a fractured skull.

Just recently Titan came to the rescue again when he barked to wake John up at 4:30 a.m. When John went downstairs he found that Gloria had fallen in the bathroom, breaking her hip and another bone.

After all the three had been through, the Bentons were equally excited for the honor.

"Oh my goodness, I'm so excited because he just deserves it and I'm so glad he's getting the recognition that he needs," Gloria said.

A Great Dane named Hank from Kansas City, Mo. was named the Valor Dog of the Year and the People's Hero. A labrador named Buddy from Milwaukee won second place.