They work like dogs and rarely get recognition, but on Thursday, some hardworking hounds will finally get a pat on the back, at the first-ever Golden Paw Awards.

One loveable Labrador, Franklin, is being honored for his comforting touch.

Like most people, Franklin heads to work five days a week. For the past five years, his job at Daybreak, Loretto’s Adult Medical Day Program in Syracuse, calls for good behavior and a calm demeanor— two qualities Franklin defines.

“Coming in here, even if it’s a bad day, he tends to make it a good day and that’s all that matters, I guess. He gives us love. We give him love back. He’s there for everybody,” said Daybreak participant Howie Deyo.

Shannon Loughlin, a therapeutic recreations specialist at Daybreak, says that Franklin has become a part of the family at the facility.

“He gives our participants a second chance to have a pet because a lot of them haven’t had pets in years. To feel connected to an animal. To bring peace of mind,” Loughlin said.

Franklin, a rescue from Helping Hounds, follows Loughlin’s lead. As the therapeutic recreations specialist, she knew Franklin would be a perfect pooch for the program.

It’s Franklin’s ability to comfort those with mental illness, physical challenges and dementia that made his Daybreak family nominate him for a Golden Paw Award.

The Golden Paw Awards are happening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Palace Theatre. 

NewsChannel 9’s Farah Jadran will be serving as event’s MC.