American Humane Association has officially started the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ campaign. This is the annual search for America’s bravest heroes on both ends of the leash. Dog owners across the country are now invited to visit www.herodogawards.org and nominate their hero dog in one of eight categories. The top dog in each category will be flown to Los Angeles and celebrated at an awards gala on September 19, where one hero dog will be picked as American Hero Dog of the year. The fifth annual Hero Dog Awards will air nationwide as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall.
You may remember last year’s winner, Susie. As a puppy she was terribly abused and left for dead. She recovered and was adopted by someone who as a child had been attacked by a dog. They assisted each other to heal and helped to pass “Susie’s Law” in North Carolina, which calls for harsher penalties for convicted animal abusers. They both now team up to visit hospitals, schools, and nursing homes to inspire people never to give up.
The eight categories for 2015 are: Therapy Dogs, sponsored by Zoetis (also the official Online sponsor for the competition); Service Dogs, sponsored by Modern Dog magazine; Law Enforcement Dogs; Military Dogs; Arson Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; Guide/Hearing Dogs; and Emerging Hero Dogs, a category that pays tribute to ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things. Following this nominations period, which ends on February 25, 24 semifinalists (the top three in each category) will be chosen in a first round of public voting. The second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity voting, will narrow the field to the eight category finalists who will then vie for the title of 2015 American Hero Dog.
Winners in each category will earn money for a designated charity partner and the overall winner’s charity partner will win an additional monetary prize. Each charity partner is dedicated to celebrating the role of working dogs in our lives, and like American Humane Association, celebrates the importance of the human-animal bond.
There is also the humans who treat all dogs like heroes – the hero veterinarian or veterinary technician. The Hero Dog Awards will feature a second contest, the American Humane Association Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards™, sponsored by Zoetis. Pet owners across America will be invited to nominate their favorite animal caretakers in these two fields, with each to be honored at the Hero Dog Awards event on September 19.