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Dog whose barking saved Port Tampa man's life is up for national award

The dog credited with saving a Port Tampa man's life last year is up for a national top honor.

RaeLee, a honey-colored mixed breed that entered Yolanda Segovia's life as a stray, was normally quiet.

But one day, while Segovia was working in her yard, RaeLee (pronounced Riley) started barking and yelping to get her attention. When Segovia came into the house, the dog led her to the bedroom where her son, Christian, who has Down syndrome and other medical issues, was having a seizure and was bleeding from the nose. Segovia told the Times in August that doctors said Christian would not have lived if RaeLee had not alerted Segovia so quickly.

Now RaeLee has been nominated for the Humane Society of the United States' Dogs of Valor Award. RaeLee is against nine other heroic dogs, and celebrity judges will vote for the dog that "exhibited an extraordinary sense of courage or resolve by heroically helping persons in need," according to the Humane Society's Web site.

The public also has the chance to decide which dog will be the People's Hero. Voting is open to the public until Friday at Winners will be announced Sunday.

Shelley Rossetter can be reached at (813) 226-3374 or

Dog whose barking saved Port Tampa man's life is up for national award 03/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 11:53pm]
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