York girl who rescued Westie hailed as hero

Meet Pennsylvania's newest little animal hero with the oh-so fitting name: Serenity Rhoads.

The 11-year-old York girl who rescued a badly injured Westie from a water and ice-filled trash can in park, was hailed as a hero by school officials and fellow students at her elementary school last week, according to the York Sunday News.

Serenity heard the dog crying in the trash can and called authorities for help. Veterinarians found a foot-long stick shoved down her throat. She also had a broken leg and was suffering from serious infections.

York County SPCA director Melissa Smith urged students to follow Rhoads' example of compassion and willingness to take action when an animal is in danger.

The dog, who is about six and known as Heaven according to its microchip, is now in foster care after surgery and extensive medical treatment.

The microchip revealed Heaven's owners were in Georgia, but there is no word yet on whether they have been found, nor has anyone been charged with cruelty. The York County SPCA is offering a reward in the case.

Serenity got a special surprise at the assembly, a cameo appearance by Heaven.