WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The search for America's noblest heroes on both ends of the leash is back, and bigger than ever. America's oldest national humane organization is pleased to announce that nominations for the fourth annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation will open on January 15. The past three years have seen millions of votes cast for hundreds of nominees all seeking to be named America's top heroic hound, to be revealed at a star-studded event at the world famous Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on September 27.
The 2014 winner will join illustrious past champions like 2013's Elle the Pit Bull, a therapy dog who also helps children learn to read and breaks down hurtful negative stereotypes about her breed; Gabe in 2012, who saved countless soldiers' lives in the desert sands of Iraq by sniffing out caches of potentially deadly weapons; and 2011's Roselle, who bravely and calmly led her owner, Michael Hingson, down 1,463 stairs in the smoldering World Trade Center on that tragic day in September more than a decade ago.
American Humane Association is excited to announce that next year's contest will feature revamped categories and a brand new voting structure. The eight categories for 2014 are: Law Enforcement Dogs, Military Dogs, Arson Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs (for ordinary dogs, such as pets, who do extraordinary things). For the first time ever there will be an additional round of voting, with 24 semifinalists (top three in each category) moving beyond the first round of public voting. The second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity voting, will narrow the field to the eight category finalists, who will then vye for the grand prize of 2014 American Hero Dog.
The final two rounds of voting will include input from a special blue ribbon celebrity judging panel. Past celebrity judges have included head judge Victoria Stilwell, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Joey Lawrence, Miranda Lambert, Kristen Chenoweth, and many, many more.
Winners in each category will earn money for a charity partner while the overall winner's charity partner will win an additional monetary prize. Each charity partner is dedicated to celebrating the role of working dogs in our lives, and like American Humane Association, celebrate the importance of the human-animal bond.
"For thousands of years, dogs have been an integral part of our lives, but it wasn't until a few years ago that American Humane Association stepped up to officially recognize the amazing work these dogs do every day," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association's President and CEO. "Hero dogs do so much to keep millions of Americans safe, happy, and healthy, and it is the least we can do to honor them on their special night every fall."
Key dates for the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ contest include:
- January 15-February 28: Nominations open
- March 7-June 6: Semifinalist voting
- June 13-June 30: Finalist voting
- July 7-September 15: Grand prize 2014 American Hero Dog voting
More information about the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, including complete contest rules and entry information, can be obtained by visiting www.herodogawards.org.
NO PURCHASE OR DONATION IS REQUIRED AND PURCHASE OR DONATION WILL NOT INCREASE THE ODDS OF WINNING. Entrants must be 18 or over and must reside in one of the 50 states of the United States or Washington DC. Sponsored by American Humane Association, which can be contacted at 1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 360, Washington DC 20036. Void where prohibited. Contest begins at 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on January 15, 2014 and ends at 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on September 15, 2014. Odds of winning a prize will be determined by the number of valid entries received during the nomination period (between 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on January 15, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on February 28, 2014), public votes and decisions of judges. Official Rules are located at http://www.herodogawards.org/rules. Entries may be made either online at http://www.herodogawards.org/ or by mail postmarked on or before February 28, 2014 and received by American Humane Association no later than March 4, 2014 (entry form for mailed entries may be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped #10 business envelope to: American Humane Association, 2014 Hero Dog Awards Contest Entry Form Request, 11530 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604). Semi-Finalists (top three in each of eight (8) categories) will be determined by the highest number of valid online public votes (for each voter, one vote per category per day) at http://www.herodogawards.org/ between 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on March 7, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on June 6, 2014. Eight finalists/category winners (top one in each category) will be determined, from among the twenty-four (24) semi-finalists by a combination of valid online public votes (for each voter, one vote per day) at http://www.herodogawards.org/ between 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on June 13, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on June 30, 2014 (49%) and voting of judges selected by American Humane Association (51%) on criteria set forth in the Official Rules. A grand prize winner will be determined, from among the eight (8) category winners by a combination of valid online public votes (for each voter, one vote per day) at http://www.herodogawards.org/ between 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on July 7, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET on September 15, 2014 (49%) and voting of a panel of judges selected by American Humane Association (51%) on criteria set forth in the Official Rules. Each of the eight (8) category winners will receive travel and 2 nights lodging to participate in the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ event and $1,500 will be awarded to his/her designated charity partner (total ARV $6,500 each prize), and an additional $5,000 will be awarded to the Grand Prize Winner's designated charity partner (ARV $5,000). Total ARV of all prizes is $57,000.
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. A mother and a grandmother, Lois has trained for and completed five New York City Marathons. For more information about LIFE visit www.life-edu.org.
SOURCE American Humane Association