Seven Canines Named Finalists for 2017 American Hero Dog Awards
Seven courageous canines have been named finalists in the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. After more than half a million votes cast by animal lovers across the country and a celebrity panel of dog lovers and experts, the canines each took top honors in their individual categories from a field of 188 initial nominees.
Now a combination of America’s voters and a panel of celebrity judges will determine which dog will take home top honors as the 2017 American Hero Dog. The public is invited to submit one vote per day through Aug. 30 online. The seven finalists will be flown to Los Angeles to take part in the star-studded Hero Dog Awards gala on Sept. 16 at the Beverly Hilton, which will be broadcast as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall. The seven category winners for 2017 are:
- Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs: Ice from Olympia, Wash.
- Emerging Hero Dogs: Abigail from Lehigh Acres, Fla.
- Guide/Hearing Dogs: Pierce from Palm Bay, Fla.
- Military DogsL Adak from St. Cloud, Minn.
- Search and Rescue Dogs: Luca from Grand Prairie, Texas
- Service Dogs: Atlas from Dayton, Ohio
- Therapy Dogs: Aladdin from Haddonfield, N.J.
Each of the seven finalists will win $2,500 for their designated charity partner and the winning 2017 American Hero Dog’s charity partner will receive an additional $5,000 for 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, focuses on the importance of the human-animal bond.
Over the past seven years, millions of votes have been cast for more than a thousand dogs, all seeking the coveted title of American Hero Dog. The program reaches more than 1 billion people each year and draws the support and participation of top celebrity dog lovers from all over the world.
“The American Humane Hero Dog Awards celebrate the tremendously important roles dogs play in our lives,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO. “The American public and our special judging panel now have an extraordinarily tough task ahead of them in determining who our top dog will be because all are worthy winners.”
“It is an honor to support an effort to recognize the best of our ‘best friends,’” said philanthropist Lois Pope, who has been the awards’ presenting sponsor for six 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.”