Mariel Hannah was an Atlanta teenager who had a passion for animals. Her life was tragically cut short in a home invasion in 2006, and her family memorialized her by setting up the Mariel Hannah Humane Heroes Award. Each year, the Atlanta Humane Society awards a teen between the ages of 13 and 18 for selfless service on behalf of animals.
The winner for 2010 is Courtney Griffin, a Creekside High School senior who has supported the dogs serving in Iraq and Afghanistan by working with the local charitable organization Military Working Dog Team Support Association (MWDTSA).
Courtney is seen here holding the t-shirt she created for the soldiers, and visiting the War Dog memorial at Fort Benning.
Courtney is deeply honored to receive this award for her work with Military Working Dogs.
In addition to being an advocate for their support, Courtney designed a T-shirt as a fundraiser. When asked about her contribution to the organization, Griffin replied, “The greatest moment for me, apart from creating the design, was hearing the positive feedback from the active duty handlers and realizing that I truly have made an impact.”
In addition to her fundraiser, Courtney worked public education events, met Governor Perdue and Georgia based handlers on Military Dog Handler Day in Georgia. She recently took a trip to Fort Benning to see the War Dog Memorial and get a hands-on experience with the dogs as she donned a bite suit.
She hopes that her project will bring some exposure to the importance of Military Working Dogs. “It’s a wonderful cause,” she said, “They are part of our U.S. military and deserve our support.”
Courtney’s passion for animals runs deep. She started riding horses when she was four, which ingrained in her a love of animals and inspired her goal of becoming a veterinarian. She is currently working four days a week at Veterinary Care Center in Macedonia, but will be headed to Mississippi State in the fall to follow her dream after being accepted to the Early Entry Program – College of Veterinary Medicine.
Congratulations to Courtney!