Before he became known as the world’s first ice-skating dog, Benny spent six months in a kill shelter in Utah, where he was on the euthanasia list. A local Las Vegas rescue pulled him from the shelter on his last day, but no one wanted to adopt him — until Cheryl DelSangro saw his picture.
Benny is now a pro at tricks, with a repertoire of more than 60 under his belt. He showed his love for the ice when Cheryl was asked to make a cheer video for the Vegas Golden Knights ice hockey team in May of 2018. She brought Benny along, who had a blast running around on the ice, carrying a hockey stick and puck to cheer on the team in the playoffs. As a retired professional figure skater, Cheryl thought she could teach Benny how to skate. “It took about two months to fashion a pair of skates to fit him,” she says. “He was able to skate on his first practice.”
Benny has performed at UNLV hockey games, skated at the Red Rock Casino and Green Valley Ranch Casino, and hosted a Skate With Benny fundraiser with the Animal Foundation.
“People love watching him,” Cheryl says. “He’s so happy and excited to be on the ice. People comment on how much he loves it and how his tail never stops wagging.”
Benny skates with Spectrum on Ice (a program for children on the autism spectrum). “For many kids, it’s the first time they have touched or interacted with a dog,” Cheryl says.
So, what does the future hold for Benny? Cheryl wants to share his talents with as many people as possible. “He is truly an extraordinary example of the possibilities of a rescue dog,” she says.