JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Feb. 3 — Uggie, the scene-stealing Jack Russell terrier in the 2012 Oscar-winning film “The Artist” will visit Mayo Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 6. Uggie will be in Jacksonville to meet Mayo’s Caring Canines, the volunteer dogs who greet patients and visitors at the clinic.
The visit by Uggie and his owner/trainer, Omar Von Muller, is open to the public, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Walker Auditorium in the clinic’s Davis Building. Von Muller will share Uggie’s amazing success story of going from a puppy headed for the pound to worldwide fame. Uggie will perform some of the tricks that delighted fans of “The Artist” in which he portrayed a loyal dog who courageously rescues his owner from a fire. The film received five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, Jean Dujardin.
There are 19 volunteer dogs in Mayo’s Caring Canines program. They make daily “meet-and-greet” visits to patients and visitors, providing warmth and unconditional love.
“The Caring Canines play a valuable role in supporting Mayo Clinic’s commitment to the healing of mind, body and spirit,” says Peter Dorsher, M.D., chair of Mayo’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. “Uggie’s impact on people worldwide is further evidence of the human/animal bond and how it can improve our health and well-being. We’re delighted to have him meet our volunteer dogs.”
Uggie’s visit to Mayo Clinic was made possible by Deborah Ziskind, founding chairman of The Global Conference Institute. Her work focuses on health care and policy outcomes, including stem cell research, quality care, and research and development. “Uggie has a tremendous effect on society as both a film star and a humanitarian,” says Ziskind. “His humanity shines in his life story and is as compelling as the magic he brings to stage and screen.”
Uggie will receive The Global Conference Institute’s Healthcare Humanitarian Award for 2014 later this year, joining past honorees Michael DeBakey, M.D., Dana Reeve, Thomas Starzl, M.D., Ph.D., and actress Sharon Stone. Dr. Dorsher will be this year’s award event chairman.
Uggie’s memoir, Uggie, My Story, was published in 2012. He’s an advocate for shelter pet adoption and has been a “spokesdog” for the Humane Society of the United States.
About Mayo Clinic
Recognizing 150 years of serving humanity in 2014, Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit 150years.mayoclinic.org, http://www.mayoclinic.org and newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.
Paul Scotti, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-2299, firstname.lastname@example.org