Terry Bradshaw, Beth Stern to Co-Host Hero Dog Awards

HeroDogA four-time Super Bowl champion, Terry Bradshaw will cheer for eight courageous canines who have won the hearts of the pup-loving public at the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.

Teaming up with TV personality/animal advocate Beth Stern, the sports icon will co-host the event, which will honor the efforts of the following four-legged finalists, who have already won $1,500 for their charity partner, and will strive to garner an additional $5,000 for their chosen good cause by being named the top dog at the awards presentation:

  • In the category of Arson Dogs, Kai– a six-year-old black Lab who was saved from a shelter– has helped the San Antonio Fire Department with more than 200 investigations, and teaches children about fire safety. (Kai’s charity partner is Project Paws Alive.)
  • Starved and dehydrated, Xena– the finalist in the Emerging Hero category– was given just a one percent chance to live when she arrived at an Atlanta area animal shelter. Defying what seemed to be her fate, the plucky Pit Bull not only survived, but thrived, thanks in part to the support of her adoptive family. Giving back to those she loves, the kind-hearted canineĀ helped her forever family’s autistic son break from the silent world he lived in, and today he sings and chats away with his four-pawed pal, Xena the Warrior Puppy. (Xena’s charity partner is Sheltie Rescue of Utah.)
  • Air Force Sergeant Michael Malarsie lost both his sight and four of his fellow servicemen (including his best friend) due to an explosion in Kandahar, Afghanistan, but by partnering with a dog named XXon–the finalist in the category of Guide/Hearing Dogs– Malarsie created a new vision for his life. Formerly the only active duty guide dog team in the Air Force, today the retired sergeant continues to work with his barking buddy, who helps to get Malarsie safely to wherever he needs to go. (XXon’s charity partner is Fidelco.)
  • A vital member of the Winchester, Virginia police force, when Kota– the finalist in the category of Law Enforcement Dogs– was injured while responding to a burglary in progress, he refused to let his severely fractured limb stop him from helping his fellow officers finish the call. (Kota’s charity partner is K9s4COPs.)
  • Representing the category of Military Dogs, Chaney is an eight-year-old Lab who retired from the Marines in 2013 after multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his days as an IED detection dog, Chaney saved countless lives and served as a morale booster for his squad. Adopted by one of his handlers, today the stout-hearted Spot volunteers for Retrieving Freedom, Inc., a non-profit organization which trains service dogs for disabled veterans and children with autism. (Chaney’s charity partner is America’s VetDogs.)
  • Over the course of her career, Bretagne– the finalist in the category of Search and Rescue Dogs– has worked at the World Trade Center after 9/11, the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and helped after Hurricane Rita in 2005. Today she is an ambassador for search and rescue dogs, visiting elementary schools where she helps first grade students learn to read. (Bretagne’s charity partner is Penn Vet Working Dog Center.)
  • Former shelter dog JJ Krawczyk– finalist in the Service Dogs category– was given a new lease on life when he was rescued, and as a service dog he helps to save the life of a young girl with a rare condition known as Masocytosis. Able to detect when a severe reaction is about to strike, this courageous canine alerts the girl’s parents that her life may be in danger. JJ’s bong with the child is so strong that when she needed surgery, doctors requested that the dog be present in the operating room. (JJ Krawczyk’s charity partner is Eyes Ears Nose & Paw.s)
  • A Pit Bull mix pup who was set on fire and a woman who suffered from a brutal dog attack have paired together, using the pain of their pasts to help create a better future for both people and pets. Susie– the finalist in the Therapy Dogs category– and her forever pet parent have helped to bring about change in North Carolina animal cruelty laws, and visit hospitals, schools and nursing homes to inspire others to never give up. (Susie’s charity partner is Paws & Effect.)

“For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us, and given us their unconditional love,” Terry Bradshaw stated. “The least we can do is to honor them on their special night every fall. I’m proud to do my part for our best friends.”

“I’ve been an animal lover my whole life and these animals deserve an extra-large helping of love,” the event’s co-host, Beth Stern, remarked. “After all they’ve done for us, it is finally time for every dog to have his day, and I’m here to help.”

The star-studded 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards will take place on September 27th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and will air on The Hallmark Channel at a later date. Through September 15th dog devotees can cast their vote one a day for their favorite Fido at www.herodogawards.org.

Photo Credit: American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards

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About Grace Sydney

Grace Sydney is the Assistant Editor of DogTipper.com and CatTipper.com, covering celebrity-related rescue news. She operates the @HollywoodDogs Twitter account sharing information on celebrity fundraising for rescues and shelters.