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Little Man, the 2021 Search and Rescue Hero Dog

Little Man, a pit bull from Oklahoma City, is the 2021 Search and Rescue Hero Dog, and his beginning foreshadowed the career to come.

In 2013, a devastating tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, turning the city into rubble. Molly Gibb, a professional Search and Rescue volunteer, worked with Animal Control and American Humane Rescue to help the animals impacted by the disaster. Five days into the search, she uncovered a puppy buried in the wreckage who was somehow still alive. The puppy came to be known as Little Man, and when he went unclaimed, Molly adopted him.

Molly recognized that Little Man’s intelligence, drive, curiosity, athleticism and upbeat nature would make him a great candidate for search and rescue, and after recovering from the tornado and building a relationship with his new handler, Little Man became certified by the National Association for Search and Rescue and started helping victims of tragedy himself.

With a specialty in tracking specific human scent, human remains or other articles, Little Man is able to roam off the leash and lead search and rescue teams to people in dire straits. In 2020, Little Man helped a search team find a missing assault victim who was still alive.

Little Man’s trainability, determination and affinity for people epitomizes just what can make many pit bulls great working dogs. He has grown from tornado survivor to hero fully blossomed in public service, helping families and communities in crisis, and graciously welcoming their love in return.

Little Man is in the running to win the top title in American Humane’s Hero Dog Awards. Vote for Little Man to be the 2021 American Hero Dog at!

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