An array of animal-loving luminaries may have walked the red carpet at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on October 5th, but Spots were the true stars during an evening filled with dogged devotion– the American Humane Association’s third annual Hero Dog Awards. (TM)
Eight Fido finalists who had been chosen as the top dog in their respective categories were commended for their courage, including:
Emerging Hero Dogs winner Cassidy– a dog who was found in a pile of trash along the highway– lost his leg when he was struck by a car but not his spirit, and today he is an advocate for special needs rescues as he takes part in presentations for children about disabilities, acceptance and how everyone is different, special and has something positive to give to the world. (Charity Partner: Sheltie Rescue of Utah)
Guide Dog category winner Jingles is a Lab/Golden Retriever who who works as part of a heroic team with a diabetic alert canine to help Karen Ann, who is multiply disabled. (Charity Partner:
The Seeing Eye)
Rescued from a life of abuse and neglect, Lola– the Hearing Dogs category recipient– is a heroine to her deaf guardian, Charlene. Lola is her alarm clock, her exercise companion, and her reason to move beyond depression and her self-imposed isolation. (Charity Partner: Dogs for the Deaf)
Victorious in the Law Enforcement/Arson Dog category, K9 Lakota took part in more than 80 apprehensions, 28 drug seizures, six vehicle seizures, the recovery of stolen property, and the seizure of $60,000 over the course of his four-year career, which was cut short after a serious car accident. Enjoying his retirement, K9 Lakota’s story is now being used to help change laws for Law Enforcement Officer K9s so that they are better protected by their departments in case they are injured in the line of duty. (Charity Partner: K9s4COPs)
Retired in 2011 at the age of eight after five years of service, Explosive Detection Dog Dog (CWD) Carlos– winner of the Military Dog category— worked with the U.S. Army’s 3rd & 4th Infantry Divisions in Baghdad for two and a half years before being transferred to Kandahar to work in direct support of U.S. Special Forces on the front lines, where he was credited with finds on missions that saved the lives of many American soldiers. As Carlos aged, he was transferred to work with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan that was established by the United Nations Security Council. Sadly, upon retirement Carlos seems to have been the victim of neglect. To this day, Carlos still carries ligature mark scars on his back legs from hobble-style restraints. Now part of a loving forever family, this tail-wagging warrior is an inspiration to everyone he meets. (Charity Partner: Military
Working Dog Adoptions)
Search and Rescue Dog category winner, John D has located the missing in kidnappings, disasters, drownings, and other emergencies and his scent-sensing powers have also been able to detect cancer. Once a rescue dog saved by people, now John D spends his life helping and saving them. (Charity Partner: The Sage Foundation for Dogs Who Serve)
Service Dog category award recipient SD Bronx is both a buddy and a beacon of hope for Christopher, who has suffered from seizures since the age of nine. His hero dog would tell him when seizures were about to happen and quickly alert others to help. SD Bronx stayed by his side at all doctor visits, and was there when Christopher lost half his field of vision, stepping into another role and working with Christopher and his sight cane. The challenges were hard but hero dog SD Bronx has helped Christopher to do more than he ever dreamed he could. (Charity Partner: Texas Hearing and Service Dogs)
Each of the eight finalists received $1,500 to be donated to one of American Humane Association’s charity partners, with the event’s ultimate winner receiving an additional $5,000 for her charity.
The 2013 American Hero Dog
The event’s top prize,The 2013 American Hero Dog honor, was presented to therapy dog Elle (seen in the photo above), a Pit Bull from Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina who saves lives by teaching children dog safety and helping people overcome their fear of dogs. Since becoming a volunteer, Elle started a therapy dog reading program called “Tail Wagging Tales,” helping children enjoy books and improve their reading skills. Elle is also making a difference by creating happiness all around while visiting her friends at an elementary school, a middle school, and a retirement home. Elle also reaches out to educate families about being responsible pet parents, sharing stories about her job as a therapy dog, and spreading positive awareness about dogs that are misunderstood, including pit bulls. This year’s therapy dog category sponsor, as well as the online sponsor, is the leading animal health company, Zoetis. Elle’s charity partner, which will receive $6,500 in financial support from the Hero Dog Awards, is the nonprofit organization, Hand in Paw.
Hosted by actor Joey Lawrence (Blossom, Melissa & Joey), the 2013 American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards will be broadcast on The Hallmark Channel October 30th at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central and will feature appearances by Betty White, Jennifer Coolidge, Esai Morales, Ryan O’Neal, Naomi Judd, Pauley Perrette, Lisa Vanderpump, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Bailee Madison, Rico Rodriguez, Brian Baumgartner, Megan Blake, Max Carver, Torrey DeVitto, Matt Leinart, Lauren Potter, Eric Christian Olsen, Ben Savage, Austin Stowell, Chef Michael Voltaggio, Danielle Fishell, Lori Loughlin, Daphne Zuniga, Victoria Stillwell, reality stars Jenni Pulos and Lisa Vanderpump (who acted as Red Carpet hosts) and many more.
For more information:
- visit www.herodogawards.org
Photo Credit: PRNewsFoto/American Humane Association