WASHINGTON, March 29, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Every dog has its day, and 189 of the nation's bravest dogs are hoping that day will come for them on September 16 at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards®, sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. These dogs are all competing for the honor of being named 2017's American Hero Dog, the highest honor a dog can receive. But it's now up to America to decide which of those dogs will take home that coveted prize.
Dog lovers across the country are invited to visit www.herodogawards.org and vote once per day for their favorite dogs in each of seven categories. Following the first round of voting, which ends May 3 with the selection of 21 semifinalists (the top three in each category), a second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity voting, will narrow the field to the seven category finalists. The winning dog in each category will be flown to Los Angeles and celebrated at a red carpet, star-studded awards gala on September 16, when this year's American Hero Dog will be revealed. The sixth annual Hero Dog Awards will be hosted by James Denton and Beth Stern and will air nationwide as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall.
The seven categories for 2017 are: Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, sponsored by the K-9 Courage Program™ from Zoetis; Military Dogs, sponsored by the K-9 Courage Program from Zoetis and the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation; Therapy Dogs, sponsored by Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food, the official pet food of the 2017 Hero Dog Awards; Service Dogs, sponsored by Modern Dog magazine; Emerging Hero Dogs, a category that pays tribute to ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, maker of NexGard® (afoxolaner) Chewables; Search and Rescue Dogs; and Guide/Hearing Dogs. Following the nominations period, 21 semifinalists (the top three in each category) will be chosen in a first round of voting by celebrity judges and the public.
Over the past six years, Americans have cast millions of votes 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. Hosts, judges, award presenters, and entertainment acts have included Alison Sweeney, Bindi Irwin, Derek Hough, Katharine McPhee, Michelle Beadle, Victoria Stilwell, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Joey Lawrence, Lisa Vanderpump, Burt Reynolds, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, John Ondrasik, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristen Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Lori Loughlin, Lea Thompson, Eric Stonestreet, Fred Willard, Danica McKellar, Bailee Madison, and many, many more.
Winners in each category will earn $2,500 for their designated charity partner and the overall winner's charity partner will win an additional $5,000 prize. Each charity partner is dedicated to celebrating the role of working dogs in our lives, and like American Humane, celebrates the importance of the human-animal bond.
"Our best friends do so much to improve and even save our lives, and every dog owner knows about the extraordinary, unbreakable bond they share with their dog," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane's president and CEO. "The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are our way of celebrating the power of the human-animal bond, which has been a core part of our organization's mission for nearly 140 years."
"The Hero Dog Awards recognize some of America's bravest heroes," said philanthropist and presenting sponsor Lois Pope. "I am honored to present this invaluable effort to honor the best of our best friends and shine a light on the extraordinary acts of courage and kindness performed by ordinary dogs."
"Every year, we have the great honor of highlighting new hero dogs, whose stories of bravery, devotion, and unconditional love underscore the power of the human-dog bond," said Bill Abbott, president & CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. "The Hero Dog Awards, a truly inspirational program, not only gives our canine friends the recognition they so deserve, but it shines a spotlight on the incredible range of services they perform on our behalf."
Key dates for the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards contest include:
- Nominations: January 25 – March 22
- 1st Round Voting: March 29 – May 3
- 2nd Round Voting: May 17 – June 28
- 3rd Round Voting: July 12 – August 30
- American Humane Hero Dog Awards event in Los Angeles – September 16
Nominations for 2016 Hero Vet and Hero Vet Tech Awards Close Next Week
And because behind every hero pet there is a hero veterinarian or veterinary technician, the Hero Dog Awards once again feature a second contest – the American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards™, sponsored by Zoetis. Pet owners and animal lovers across America still have a week left to nominate their favorite animal caretakers in these two fields, with each to be honored at the Hero Dog Awards event on September 16. The nomination period for this separate contest closes on April 6.
For more information about the 2016 American Humane Hero Dog Awards®, and to vote daily in the contest, please visit www.herodogawards.org. For more information about the 2017 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards™, and to nominate a veterinarian or veterinary technician, please visit www.herovetawards.org. For more information on sponsorship opportunities email Mari Harner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-227-4645.
About American Humane
American Humane is the country's first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.americanhumane.org. To inquire about Hero Dog Awards sponsorship opportunities, please email Mari Harner at email@example.com.
About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education)
As one of America's leading philanthropists, Lois Pope has positively impacted the lives of individuals at the local, national and international levels. She has established three separate organizations dedicated to helping those in need. These organizations are the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., Leaders In Furthering Education (LIFE), and the Disabled Veterans' Life Memorial Foundation. For more than 20 years she has been the driving force behind the Lois Pope LIFE Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine, The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, and a groundbreaking new program with American Humane in Palm Beach County. Lois Pope has recently donated two Lois Pope Red Star Rescue Vehicles. Each rescue vehicle is a 50-foot long response unit, complete with a Ford F-350 truck and trailer, which is specifically designed and outfitted to provide an array of animal emergency services and cruelty responses within the region.
Mrs. Pope recently saw the completion of a decade's long dream – the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which was dedicated by President Obama in Washington, DC on Sunday, October 5, 2014. The Memorial will forever stand as a reminder to the public and legislators of the courage and sacrifices of the four million living disabled veterans and all those who died before them for the need to be vigilant in assuring their support, as well as being aware of the human cost of war.
A mother and a grandmother, Lois has trained for and completed five New York City Marathons.
About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel is Crown Media Family Networks' flagship 24-hour cable television network, distributed nationwide in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to 89 million homes. As the country's leading destination for quality family entertainment, Hallmark Channel delivers on the 100-year legacy of the Hallmark brand. In addition to its signature new, original movies, the network features an ambitious lineup of other new, original content, including scripted primetime series, such as "Good Witch," "When Calls the Heart" and "Chesapeake Shores"; annual specials including "Kitten Bowl" and "Hero Dog Awards"; and a daily, two-hour lifestyle show, "Home & Family." Additionally, Hallmark Channel is the exclusive home to world premiere presentations of the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise. Dedicated to helping viewers celebrate life's special moments, Hallmark Channel also offers annual holiday programming franchises, including "Countdown to Christmas," "Countdown to Valentine's Day," "Summer Nights," "Fall Harvest" and "Winterfest." Rounding out the network's diverse slate are some of television's most beloved comedies and series, including "The Golden Girls," "The Middle," "Last Man Standing," and "Frasier."
Hallmark Cards, Inc. owns and operates Crown Media Family Networks.
Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products, genetic tests, biodevices and a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2016, the company generated annual revenue of $4.9 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health
On January 1st, 2017, Merial became part of the Boehringer Ingelheim group. As the second largest animal health business in the world, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to making the industry even better at improving animal health. With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has products available in more than 150 markets and a global presence in 99 countries. For more information about Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, click here.
About Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates presently with a total of some 50,000 employees worldwide. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. In 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 14.8 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 20.3 per cent of net sales. For more information, please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.com
About Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food
Chicken Soup for the Soul understands the unique relationship between people and pets. Health conscious consumers have been feeding their cats and dogs Chicken Soup for the Soul wholesome and balanced, super premium pet food for over a decade. Holistic in nature, the entire line of products is made from only the finest ingredients: real meats (chicken, turkey, duck and salmon), fruits, vegetables and herbs. With no added corn, wheat, soy, artificial coloring, flavoring or preservatives, Chicken Soup for the Soul pet food is inspired by your love for pets, and promotes overall health and well-being for dogs and cats. The products are proudly made in the USA, and feature rescued shelter pets on every bag. Core and grain-free formulas are available in independent pet specialty stores nationwide and online, with a new line of treats recently launched.
A portion of all proceeds from the sale of Chicken Soup for the Soul pet food goes to help shelters and pets in need through Chicken Soup for the Soul's Fill a Bowl … Feed a Soul™ program. The program which was launched in association with the American Humane aims to provide a million meals to shelter pets in 2016. www.chickensouppets.com
About Modern Dog magazine
Modern Dog -- "the best dog magazine ever" and the #1 dog publication in North America -- is a must-read for dog lovers. Your source for the best ideas and solutions for life with dogs, Modern Dog features training tips, insight into your dog's behavior, the best gear, wellness, rescue, DIY how-tos, contests and more! A large part of Modern Dog's mission is to support rescue and the organizations that work tirelessly to help dogs in need. Find Modern Dog online -- www.moderndogmagazine.com -- on newsstands across North America, and on all major social platforms. Modern Dog, your guide to a better bond with your dog!
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SOURCE American Humane