Live from the Beverly Hilton on October 5th and broadcast nationwide on Hallmark Channel October 30, Lawrence joins Betty White, Marlee Matlin, Ryan O'Neal, and a galaxy of stars to help celebrate heroes on both ends of the leash
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Beloved television and movie actor Joey Lawrence has been chosen to host an unusual and heart-warming national television special, joining a veritable galaxy of stars to celebrate some very special canines vying to become America's top dog.
The third annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and produced by Emmy® award-winning MRB Productions, will take place October 5 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Hollywood, and will air as a 90-minute special on Hallmark Channel October 30 as part of Hallmark Channel's Pet Project, the network's cross-platform advocacy campaign designed to celebrate the joy and enrichment animals bring to our lives, while addressing the country's epidemic of pet homelessness.
Americans across the country have cast more than one million ballots for their favorite heroic hounds at www.herodogawards.org and their votes will be combined with those of a celebrity panel to determine the top 2013 American Hero Dog. The culmination of this national campaign will be an outpouring of love and respect for the eight amazing finalists whose powerful stories of love, loyalty and sacrifice are the focal points of this unique and heart-warming effort. America will honor the nation's leading Hero Dogs in the following eight categories: Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Service Dogs, Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs (ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things).
To help choose America's top dog, the public can now go to www.herodogawards.org and vote for their favorite once a day through September 26. Information about tickets, table sales and sponsorships for the gala and awards ceremony are also available by calling (866) 242-1877 or by clicking here.
The evening's host, Joey Lawrence, will be joined by luminaries and presenters including Betty White, Marlee Matlin, Jennifer Coolidge, Esai Morales, Ryan O'Neal, Naomi Judd, Pauley Perrette, Lisa Vanderpump, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Bailee Madison, Danielle Fishell, Lori Loughlin, Daphne Zuniga, Victoria Stillwell and many more.
"We are thrilled to welcome the wonderful Joey Lawrence as our host for the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. "Mr. Lawrence will bring his signature warmth, vitality and compassion to this important recognition of the spirit of heroism exemplified by these dogs who protect, comfort, and provide unconditional friendship and companionship to the sick, the infirm, our veterans and their families, and children facing difficulties."
Philadelphia-born actor Joey Lawrence is one of the most widely recognized television and movie stars of his generation. He can currently be seen starring opposite Melissa Joan Hart on the eponymous sitcom Melissa & Joey and as the co-host of Splash, the reality series putting celebrities high above a pool to perform death-defying dives. Last year, he served as the Red Carpet Host for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ and was featured as an award presenter in the show's inaugural broadcast in 2011. He is well-known for his sitcom work, starring as Joey Russo on Blossom, Joey Donovan on Gimme a Break! and Joe Romano on Brotherly Love, where he was featured alongside his brothers, Matthew and Andrew Lawrence. In 2006, Mr. Lawrence placed third on Dancing with the Stars. Younger fans may know him as the voice of the titular Oliver in the animated film Oliver & Company. Though he is well known on both the big and little screen, Mr. Lawrence has said his biggest passion is music, and released the hit albums Joey Lawrence and Soulmates in 1993 and 1997, respectively. His latest singles, "Rolled" and "Give it to Ya" are available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
"Joey Lawrence is a great friend of Hallmark Channel and I am so pleased he will host this year's Hero Dog Awards," said Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. "His tremendous talent as an entertainer, his comedic timing and deep compassion for animals make him the perfect choice to lead this year's show."
"Heroes come in all sizes...and that's true whether they are humans or animals," said Lois Pope, founder and president of LIFE and The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and Chairman of the Disabled Veterans' for Life Memorial Foundation. "It's an honor for me to once again be part of an event that pays tribute to those dogs who have demonstrated true courage, love and bravery, whether saving the lives of those in danger or improving the lives of those in need."
The 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Sponsors
American Humane Association is very grateful to the generous sponsors who have helped bring long-deserved recognition to our best friends: The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Hallmark Channel, MRB Productions, national online sponsor and Therapy Dog sponsor Zoetis®, Military Dog sponsor Royal Canin®, Law Enforcement and Arson Dog sponsor State Farm®, Emerging Hero Dog sponsor Paul Mitchell Schools, Best Producer sponsor Merial and print sponsor Modern Dog magazine. Dogs may be mankind's best friends, but these caring organizations are theirs.
About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education)
Lois Pope is one of America's leading philanthropists and humanitarians. Through her various charitable mechanisms, including the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., she is devoted to saving lives, helping people help themselves, improving the quality of life for families in need and encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others. Her foundations also provide awards for medical research, college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare. Among the many organizations that benefit from her leadership are American Humane Association; the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, which she founded to spearhead the development of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation's first and only permanent public tribute to the three million living disabled American veterans and the thousands who have died; the University of Miami, where her major contribution endowed the Lois Pope LIFE Center, the top catastrophic neurological research facility in the world and home to the renowned Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Leaders in Furthering Education, which has provided a summer camp experience for more than 15,000 disadvantaged and special needs children, as well as college scholarship support to dozens of disadvantaged high school students who aspire to careers as physicians/researchers; Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's Red Cross, for new ambulances; and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for a new mobile pet adoption unit.
About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 86 million subscribers. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading destination for quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies and specials, as well as some of television's most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and Frasier. The channel is also home to a range of lifestyle programming, anchored by Home & Family, a daily two-hour live show shot in a fully functional house located on the Universal Studios lot. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movie Channel, available in HD and SD, focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of original films, classic theatrical releases, and presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library. For more information, please visit www.crownmediapress.com. Hallmark Channel on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter (Join the conversation at #HeartofTV), Pinterest, GetGlue, YouTube
About MRB Productions
Launched in 2001 by Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer Matthew Brady, MRB Productions has quickly become one of Hollywood's go-to production companies, garnering 15 Emmy nominations and 2 wins for its visually striking content. In features, MRB's political comedy, GRASSROOTS, starring Jason Biggs, opened theatrically in the US and Europe and is also available On Demand. EMANUEL AND THE TRUTH ABOUT FISHES, a psychological thriller starring Jessica Biel, premiered in competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Tribeca Film. In television, MRB is the production company behind two seasons of FREE RADIO (VH1 and Comedy Central), THE OTHER MALL (ABC Family), and the annual HERO DOG AWARDS for Hallmark Channel. MRB also produces content for HBO, ESPN, NBC, ABC, NFL Network, and Longhorn Network. In the digital space, MRB's work ranges from comedy shorts on Funny or Die to the critically acclaimed Webby Award winning THE CONFESSION, starring Kiefer Sutherland, produced exclusively for Hulu and distributed internationally by Sony Pictures Television.
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, with a focus on both farm and companion animals. In 2012, the company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion. With approximately 9,300 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2013, Zoetis has a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information on the company, visit www.zoetis.com.
About Royal Canin USA
Royal Canin USA is a leader in science-based cat and dog health nutrition. Founded by a veterinarian in 1968, Royal Canin has more than 40 years of experience in delivering individualized nutritional solutions. In collaboration with an expert team of nutritionists, breeders, and veterinarians from around the world, Royal Canin places cats and dogs at the central point of the innovation process. The Royal Canin product line offers a range of diets based on size, age, breed, life style and therapeutic requirements. Royal Canin diets are available at veterinary hospitals and pet specialty stores nationwide. Royal Canin is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. To learn more about Royal Canin visit www.royalcanin.us and "LIKE" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/royalcanin.us.
About State Farm®
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 18,000 agents and more than 69,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.
About Paul Mitchell Schools
At Paul Mitchell Schools, we believe that education is an adventure and the learning experience needs to be fun. Our instructors—we call them "learning leaders"—are trained to draw out the artist in every student and prepare them to compete in the real world. Through our annual "FUNraising" campaign, we've raised and donated millions of dollars in support of many charitable causes. We've built homes with Habitat for Humanity, fed thousands of African orphans, and supported the victims of AIDS, breast cancer, homelessness, abuse, and hundreds of other causes. Established over 30 years ago, the Paul Mitchell network is nearly 100,000 salons strong and in 81 countries worldwide; every professional hairdresser knows the Paul Mitchell name. Now, with the arrival of Paul Mitchell Schools, we've taken the world of cosmetology education by storm! Visit www.paulmitchell.edu to learn more.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 6,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2012 sales were $2.8 billion (€2.2 billion).Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see www.merial.com.
About Modern Dog Magazine
A must-read for dog lovers! Get inspired with the best ideas and solutions for life with dogs. Each issue features breed profiles, budget buys, activities for you and your dog, health & wellness, dog-friendly travel destinations, rescue stories, product reviews, photo contests, giveaways and more! Modern Dog is your guide to a better bond with your dog.
SOURCE American Humane Association