Susie, abused Greensboro dog that inspired NC law, named ‘Hero Dog of the Year’

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The abused Greensboro dog that inspired “Susie’s Law” in North Carolina has been named the American Humane Association’s 2014 American Hero Dog.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The abused Greensboro dog that inspired “Susie’s Law” in North Carolina has been named the American Humane Association’s 2014 American Hero Dog.

TODAY.com reported that Susie received a standing ovation Saturday night at a black-tie gala in Beverly Hills where she and her owner accepted the award. She was one of eight dogs competing for the prize.

“I’m just blown away,” Donna Lawrence told TODAY.com after learning her dog had won. “There were so many amazing dogs with great stories. When they called Susie, I just wanted to cry.”

In 2009, Susie was found with severe second and third-degree burns over most of her body in Greenfield Park in south Greensboro. Her ears were burned off and she had a broken jaw and teeth.

Susie was taken to the Guilford County Animal Shelter and eventually adopted by Donna and Roy Lawrence.

The man who was convicted of setting Susie on fire was sentenced to probation. North Carolina residents were outraged with the sentence and contacted their state representatives, urging for tougher penalties.

Susie’s Law made animal cruelty a low-level felony and allows judges to sentence offenders to jail in certain cases. It went into effect in 2010, signed by then-governor Bev Perdue.

Susie has since become a certified therapy dog. She goes to schools, hospitals and churches to bring messages of kindness, respect and responsibility to children and adults.

Below is video from earlier this year of Susie and Donna Lawrence at the FOX8 studios in High Point: