An unwanted dog who was rescued just in time from a kill shelter has gone on to become a Vegas superstar – by finding fame as a talented ice skater.
Labrador Benny became known as the world’s first ice skating dog after his owner, a retired professional figure skater, saw how much he loved going on the ice with her and decided to fashion him his own pair of skates.
Owner Cheryl DelSangro, who lives in Las Vegas, US, gave eight-year-old Benny a second chance at life when she rescued him from a dog shelter in Utah. “I fell in love with his big black pools of eyes,” Cheryl recalls fondly.
She arranged to take Benny home right away but little did she know that the Labrador had been scheduled to be put down the very next day, because nobody had shown interest in him in the six months he had spent at the shelter.
Benny’s incredible ice skating talent was discovered when National Hockey League team, the Vegas Golden Knights, made it to the championships.
Former figure skating pro Cheryl was asked if she and Benny could help make a fun video for the Knights to cheer them on.
Cheryl took Benny out on the ice and when she saw how much he enjoyed it – chasing hockey pucks across the ice and carrying around hockey sticks in his mouth – she began to wonder if she could teach the pup how to skate.
“I taught skating for over 20 years and taught our daughter how to skate at 17 months old,” she says.
“So I figured Benny was more coordinated than a toddler.”
Cheryl spent two months making a special pair of dog skates for Benny and the clever Labrador could skate in them with ease the very first day Cheryl took him on the ice to practice.
Now Benny loves ice skating with her. “He can’t wait to get out there and we always skate together,” she says. “We have a special bond and skating makes it even stronger.”
Benny has gone on to skate at countless high-profile events, including ice hockey games and the United States Figure Skating Championships.
His unique talent has led to the dog becoming something of a celebrity, even making appearances on the Today Show and Good Morning America.
Over on Benny’sTikTok account , millions of viewers have been left amazed by his “impressive” ice skating skills. “He skates better than I ever can,” one person said.
“Just when I thought dogs couldn’t get any better, they learn to ice skate,” another commented.
Cheryl says that she continues to be amazed by her clever dog’s abilities.
“Benny is unlike any dog I’ve ever had before. He is extremely smart,” she says, adding that affectionate Benny is her “shadow” as he will follow her around all day and loves attention.
She hopes that Benny’s inspiring story will encourage people not to overlook rescue dogs. “Benny is the poster dog for adoption and shows the world what any dog can do, even a shelter dog,” she says.
“He is a once in a lifetime dog, and I am the lucky one that got to adopt him.”
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