American Humane Association Hosts Unique Capitol Hill Veterans Day Tribute Honoring War Heroes ... at Both Ends of the Leash

Nov 09, 2011, 06:47 ET from American Humane Association

Guests Include Hero Dogs Who Worked in Iraq, at Pentagon on 9/11, and Saved Lives at the Ground Zero, along with Human Heroes, Legislators, Major Corporate Leaders, and Philanthropists involved in Nationwide "American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards," presented by Cesar® Canine Cuisine and broadcast by Hallmark Channel on Veterans Day

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Humane Association hosted a Capitol Hill "Tribute to War Both Ends of the Leash." Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus was room sponsor for this unique celebration of America's military veterans and the heroic dogs who serve our country with them. The event took place Monday in the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs hearing room at the Cannon House Office Building.

"I know many of us cherish the courage, loyalty and reliability of our dogs at home. These same qualities exist in our military hero dogs, who save, protect and enhance the lives of our soldiers every day," Moran said, "The American Humane Association Hero Dog Award winners represent thousands of hero dogs around the nation and around the world who play a vital role in our military, wherever they serve."

Among those being honored were three winners of the first-ever American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, presented by cesar® canine cuisine and produced by Emmy® Award winning MRB Productions. The event is being broadcast nationwide by Hallmark Channel on Veterans Day, 11/11 at 8 pm ET/PT. Segments of the production, which features Betty White, Carson Kressley, Mickey Rooney, Peter Fonda, Michelle Forbes, Pauley Perrette, and Susan Orlean – author of RIN TIN TIN, the first American war dog hero, legend, and "national spokesdog" for American Humane Association – were premiered at the Capitol Hill event.

"We all know about the bravery and sacrifices of our great men and women in uniform," said Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane Association. "We're here to honor them, and the dogs who serve beside them. Military dogs in service today take many of the same risks as their companions in arms, and put their lives on the line every day. They sniff out bombs that would harm our troops; they comfort soldiers on the battlefield and veterans back home; they search for the wounded after an attack; and sometimes, they have the grim task of finding the fallen, bringing closure to families and friends in the most trying of times," she said. "America's military working dogs serve without question, without hesitation, and with great distinction."

Hero Dogs and their heroic handlers who attended the event included:

  • WMD Bino C152, the winner of the Military Dog category who served in Iraq and now helps comfort soldiers with PTSD. Bino was accompanied by Debbie Kandoll, who trains dogs for PTSD work. Kandoll noted that each military working dog saves 150 lives of service members. She emphasized the need to ensure that military dogs who retire receive transportation from forward bases and adoption services back home.

  • Sage, the winner of the Search and Rescue category who served in Iraq and at the Pentagon following the 9/11 terror attacks. Sage was accompanied by trainer and K9 Officer Diane Whetsel. After winning her own battle with cancer, Sage now works as a pediatric oncology therapy dog, helping children and their families working dog. "Whether military dogs, search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs, or working as first responders, these dogs touch our lives every day in ways that some people just don't think about," Whetsel said. She said the Hero Dog Awards provide a platform for recognizing and building public support to ensure that dogs who commit their lives to public service are cared for when they retire.

  • Michael Hingson, the blind man and new best-selling author of "Thunder Dog," whose guide dog Roselle led him down 78 flights of stairs in the burning World Trade Center. Roselle was posthumously voted the top American Hero Dog in the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. "We really do as a society underestimate what our dogs can do for us," Hingson said. "The best thing we can do is to understand them. These dogs are doing their very best. How can we give them our very best in return?"

"Meeting these incredible hero dogs and the people they serve has been an inspirational and enriching experience," said William J. Abbott, President and President and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks (Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel). "We are so proud of the strong partnership we have built with American Humane Association and cesar® canine cuisine. Everyone at Hallmark Channel truly appreciates this wonderful opportunity to help honor our canine heroes and share their stories with people across the country."

About the Hero Dog Awards

The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ presented by cesar canine cuisine® celebrates the powerful relationship between dogs and people. Eight extraordinary canine finalists, selected in a nationwide online search, were honored at this red-carpet star-studded award gala for their remarkable devotion, bravery and companionship. The annual event is a unique celebration of our four-legged heroes and the many ways they enrich and save our lives every day. The award show airs on Hallmark Channel on Friday, November 11, at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific; 7 p.m. Central.

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 87 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through approximately 5,492 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading network in quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, lifestyle and general entertainment content, and is the home of "The Martha Stewart Show", which anchors the channel's daytime original programming block. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on the family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events. For more information, please visit

About CESAR® Canine Cuisine

CESAR® Canine Cuisine is an exceptional line of high-quality cuisine and treats for small- to medium-sized dogs. We offer individually prepared entrees available in two textures, original pate and gourmet filets in sauce. From the filet mignon flavor to CESAR SUNRISE breakfast entrees, CESAR® Canine Cuisine features a variety of irresistible flavors and caters to the taste of small- to medium-sized dogs. Visit to learn more.

About American Humane Association

Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals 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 today.

About MRB Productions

MRB is an Emmy-winning production company specializing in producing content across all media platforms. MRB's recent projects include the acclaimed web series The Confession, staring Kiefer Sutherland, which acquired paramount success, leading to a feature deal with Image Entertainment. MRB's feature department is currently in post-production on a Stephen Gyllenhaal film Grassroots, slated to premiere later this year. On the television side, MRB produces the pre-taped segments, coordinates talent logistics and the VIP program for the past decade for ESPN's ESPY Awards. Most recently, MRB garnered two Emmy nominations for the 2010 NBA Draft Opening Sequence. Additional TV projects include two seasons of the mockumentary comedy show Free Radio on VH1 and Comedy Central. MRB's commercial repertoire includes collaborations with Leo Burnett, Periera O'Dell, Team Detroit, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners for clients such as Geico, Kellogg's, Ford, Sprint, Mattel, Corona, Miller Lite, Smirnoff, Sony, NBC, Wal-Mart, Hyundai and University of Phoenix.

SOURCE American Humane Association