America has spoken and following nearly 1 million votes cast by animal lovers across the country and a celebrity panel of dog lovers and experts, eight courageous canines have been named finalists in the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. These heroic canines each took top honors in their individual categories from a field of 171 initial nominees, and now America’s voters and a celebrity judging panel will determine which dog will take home top honors as the 2015 American Hero Dog. The public is invited to submit one vote per day throughSeptember 7atwww.herodogawards.org. The eight finalists will be flown toLos Angelesto take part in the star-studded Hero Dog Awards gala onSeptember 19at the Beverly Hilton, and this must-watch event for animal lovers will be broadcast as a two-hour special by Hallmark Channel in October.
The final eight will each win$2,500for their designated charity partner and the winning 2015 American Hero Dog’s charity partner will receive an additional$5,000for a grand total of$7,500. Each charity partner is dedicated to celebrating and strengthening the roles of dogs in our lives, and like American Humane Association, focuses on the importance of the human-animal bond.
“It is an honor to support an effort to recognize the valor of our ‘best friends,'” said philanthropistLois Pope, who has been the awards’ presenting sponsor for four years. “From those who defend our country to those who help us heal, guide us, protect us, and help find the lost, every single contender exemplifies the courage and heroism we seek to spotlight in the Hero Dog Awards campaign. Through this national forum we have helped educate America about the lifesaving, life-affirming work of our nation’s canine heroes.”
Meet the 8 incredible Hero Dog Awards finalists below!
#1 – Glory – Arson Dogs
Glory (Evansville, Wisconsin) is a certified accelerant detection canine, trained to sniff out minute traces of hydrocarbon-based accelerants and combat the growing problem of intentionally set fires. While her team does the majority of their work around their home base inBeloit, Wisconsin, they are also called to investigate fires anywhere within the state, neighboring states, and around the country. According to her team, Glory’s keen senses go far beyond detecting accelerants. With firefighters and paramedics dealing with situations that affect them emotionally, she has the ability to sense who is having a rough day and will spend time with them, which helps relieve their stress. Public education is also a large part of the job, and Glory and her handler visit schools, clubs, and organizations, to teach people about fire safety, fire prevention, and arson awareness. (Charity Partner: Project Paws Alive, category sponsor: State Farm).
#2 –Harley, Emerging Hero Dog
Harley (Berthoud, CO) spent 10 years living in a small cage in a puppy mill before he was rescued and found a loving home. His journey of physical and emotional healing inspired a campaign called “Harley to the Rescue,” which has raised the funds to save (and provide medical care for) more than 500 dogs from puppy mills over the past two years. Harley personally goes on these rescue missions; and there is no doubt Harley is keenly aware of what is happening! There is something indescribable in the way he communicates with the sad and scared dogs. As a spokes-dog against puppy mills, Harley has educated thousands of people, of all ages, about the horrors of the commercial dog breeding industry. Harley makes public appearances at events and schools where he gladly accepts love and attention from everyone. Harley’s grizzled appearance is a testament to the care and nurturing that he had never received. He had issues: a diseased heart, a mouth filled with rot, a fused spine, a broken tail, gnarled toes, and legs that were deformed. And then there is the missing eye as the result of his cage being power-washed with him in it (an all too common practice in puppy mills). All of these conditions were the result of years of horrendous neglect and abuse. Harley is a voice for the thousands of breeding dogs still living in puppy mills, and by winning the Emerging Hero Dog Award it will draw attention to help further his mission. (Charity Partner: New Leash on Life, category sponsor: Merial)
Click page 2 below for the next Finalists!
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