PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There are few people in this world with a heart bigger than philanthropist Lois Pope. On Monday February 9 American Humane Association, the country's first national humane organization, honored Mrs. Pope for her inspirational leadership, kindness, compassion, and generosity in building a more humane world at a special "Gratitude" event at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, "Lois Pope: Our Light of Compassion." Leaders from American Humane Association saluted Mrs. Pope's once-in-a-generation commitment to America's most precious treasures, our children and animals. Mrs. Pope's generosity to American Humane Association, allows the organization to touch 40,000 lives a minute with its vital life-changing and life-saving humane programs across America and 20 countries around the world.
Since 2011 Mrs. Pope and Leaders in Furthering Education (LIFE) have partnered with American Humane Association on key initiatives, including the Red Star® Rescue program that saves thousands of animals in disasters each year and the "Be Humane" conversation series in Palm Beach to focus on pressing humane challenges of the day, veterans' issues, and numerous National Humanitarian Medal events. The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation has partnered with AHA on the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ designed to celebrate and advance the power of the human-animal bond.
Animals in need up and down the Eastern Seaboard will always have an ally on their side thanks to the two new 50-foot long fully equipped Lois Pope Red Star Rescue Vehicles and dedicated Red Star teams – one based in the Palm Beach area and dedicated to the animals of South Florida and the Southeastern United States, and one based in New Jersey for rescuing animals in the Northeast. These trucks are outfitted with everything the American Humane Association's legendary Red Star Rescue team needs to rescue and care for animals caught up in the worst natural and manmade disasters. The Southeast vehicle and team traveled across the country to help rescue and shelter hundreds of animals following 2013's deadly F-5 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. Last year the Northeast vehicle and team traveled to help animals rescued during a multi-state dogfighting ring raid over the Christmas holiday and to two different shelters in crisis in New Jersey to help care for the many animals in need at these shelters on the brink. When not deployed to disasters, these trucks are used as important humane education teaching tools for the Red Star team's appearances at schools, fairs, festivals, and other events in the community.
America's hero dogs now have the proper recognition they deserve because of the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, of which the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation has served as the presenting sponsor since 2012. The country's premiere tribute to heroes on both ends of the leash is nationally televised every year on Hallmark Channel and has taught millions of American's about the important role dogs play in our lives by keeping us safe, happy, and healthy. Hero Dog Awards hosting duo James Denton and Beth Stern attended the "Gratitude" event to show their appreciation for Mrs. Pope.
America's veterans – two-legged and four-legged alike – are living better lives because of Lois Pope. She proudly pledged $150,000 to American Humane Association to help its K-9 Battle Buddies program bring home military dogs and reunite them with their hero handlers, and for the first time ever underwrote a special float in the Veterans Day parade in New York City to spotlight the achievements of our military heroes on both ends of the leash. In just the last year, the K-9 Battle Buddies program has helped reunite more than 20 military dog teams.
"We can think of no humanitarian making a greater difference for children, animals, and veterans than Lois Pope," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association's president and CEO. "Her unrivaled compassion is something to which every American can aspire. Our work would not reach a fraction of the people and animals as it does today without her generous support, and this event at her home last night is the least we can do to show our gratitude for all she has done for this 138-year old institution. Thank you, Mrs. Pope. You are a true inspiration to us all."
"American Humane Association has been the leading voice in the humane movement since the beginning, and it has been an honor to partner with them on so many key initiatives," said Mrs. Pope. "It warms my heart knowing that so many animals and children in this country are able to live their lives free of cruelty, abuse, or neglect, and that should disaster strike, the Red Star Rescue team will be there to help those poor animals in need. Thank you, American Humane Association, for all you do every day."
Next Event on March 17: K-9 Battle Buddies
Those who appreciate military heroes can attend the next American Humane Association event in Palm Beach, which will honor the bravery and valor of America's K-9 Battle Buddies. Hosted by Lois Pope, the luncheon event will be held on March 17 at the Mar-a-Lago Club. Decorated and distinguished military dogs and their soldier handlers will be honored on stage for their service to our country in the War on Terror. Also appearing will be country music legend Naomi Judd, "America's Veterinarian" Dr. Marty Becker, and retired Army Sergeant Matt Eversmann, one of the heroes of the Battle of Mogadishu. Guests will enjoy special musical performances from "American Idol's" Stefano Langone, the Alex Donner Orchestra, and the Nunziata brothers.
Information about the K-9 Battle Buddies gala luncheon can be provided by Jill Nizan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-227-4645. Jet Paws and Military Freedom sponsorship opportunities are also available.
Highlights of Lois Pope and the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation's Work with American Humane Association can be found at www.americanhumane.org.
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)
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 Association 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.
To learn more visit www.life-edu.org or call 561.582.8083.
SOURCE American Humane Association