Melanie Haake noticed her dog had a special way of connecting with people when she rescued her in December 2012.

“It was just a love story,” said Hakke “I loved her, she loved me, she loved everybody else.”

Haake said she was named after one of her favorite foods.

"She's super sweet, and my gramps used to make us hot cakes growing up, not pancakes, but hotcakes," she said.

Sadly, Hot Cake's life hasn’t always been so sweet. She went into the shelter badly injured.

“All I know is that she was brought into the shelter with an injured leg, and it was pretty much shattered," said Haake. “It was shattered all the way up, so there's no little stump for her to wear a prosthetic to fit onto and they just had to amputate the whole leg”.

She also needed surgery and rehabilitation on one of her other legs.

None of those injuries have prevented Hot Cakes from giving back to her community. She divides her time, between the Fennel Sauls Center, an Alexandria program for people with intellectual disabilities, as well as a homeless shelter and kids story time.

She's now in the running for top therapy dog in the nation.

Chrissy Campbell, a support worker at the Fennel Sauls Center, said Hot Cakes connects with people because of her disability- and shows us all how to move on from our problems.

“We tend to complain about stuff: we can't do this, we can't do that," she said. “And then there’s Hot Cakes walking around, strutting her tail and looking good, looking shiny and ready to love on people.”

Haake believes her dog deserves the Humane Society’s Hero Dog Award because of the people she’s helped.

“People with amputations would stop by, and I would just know. She has a bigger role in life," she said.

The winner will be based on how many online votes they can get. The first round of votes ends May 3rd, the winner will be announced in September.

The prize, in Hot Cake's case, will be $2,700 toward her favorite charity, Pets on Wheels.

Click here to vote for Hot Cakes.