2016 Pet Hero Award Winner - Matthew Talbot
Outstanding Junior of the Year
The future of animal welfare rests in the hands of our youth and if all youngsters take that responsibility as seriously as Matthew Talbot, our Outstanding Junior of the Year, we can rest easy. At the young age of nine, he successfully encouraged other children to join him in a Hammonton, New Jersey project named, "Paws for a Cause". Launching this awareness campaign in his school saved 120 dogs from high kill areas in Georgia. Some of those rescued were only minutes away from a gas chamber.
The following summer, Matthew, his mother, and two others were instrumental in putting together the largest rescue operation in Georgia state history - "The Georgia Puppy Caravan". This was no small feat when you consider they had 22 tons of dog food, 7 airplanes, a film crew and 100 vehicles leaving New Jersey to save 350 animals. The caravans became a monthly journey once Animal Aid was founded by his Mother, Karen Talbot, and Prince Lorenzo Borghese resulting in saving over 13,000 animals. He continues to coordinate and organize every out of state arrival of the monthly caravans.
In addition to being the official cinematographer, director and editor of Animal Aid's rescue projects, he has also produced three independent short films with a forth due to be released in upcoming months. Two of the short films have already been selected for film festivals.
Matthew is determined to lead his generation in change. By utilizing his skills as a video journalist, he is providing his generation with the awareness, education and resources to empower that change.
Pet Hero Awards