DULUTH, Ga., Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Even a little dog can work to help make a big difference for others. Tune in on Oct. 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, 7:00 p.m. CT, on the Hallmark Channel to see Harley, a 14-year old Chihuahua, win top honors on the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards® nationally televised broadcast. One of eight candidates for the program's top title, Harley first earned the distinction of America's favorite "Emerging Hero Dog," a category sponsored by Merial, the maker of NexGard® (afoxolaner). With more than one million votes by the American public and the opinions of a special panel of celebrity animal lovers and dog experts, he won the title of the "American Hero Dog" over 170 other heroic canines.
The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards were created to celebrate the powerful relationship between dogs and people and recognize extraordinary acts of heroism performed by ordinary dogs.
Before capturing the top title of "American Hero Dog," Harley won in the Merial-sponsored "Emerging Hero Dogs" category. Harley spent 10 years living in a small cage at a puppy mill before he was rescued. His journey of physical and emotional healing inspired a campaign called "Harley to the Rescue," which has raised more than $500,000 to save and provide medical care for more than 500 dogs from puppy mills over the past two years. Harley personally goes on these rescue missions and acts as a spokesdog against puppy mills, where he educates thousands of people about the horrors of the commercial dog breeding industry.
"The Merial team is excited to cheer Harley on during the national broadcast of the AHA Hero Dog Awards," said Brad Kaegi, senior director of U.S. Pets Marketing for Merial. "Merial is proud to support programs like the AHA's American Hero Dog Awards and inspirational dogs like Harley who strive to make life better and easier for all dogs. We look forward to partnering with Harley during the next year to help continue to raise awareness for his cause."
The sold-out, star-studded event on Sept. 19 honoring America's most courageous canines was hosted at the Beverly Hilton Hotel by television and film star James Denton and model and animal advocate Beth Stern, accompanied by other well-known celebrities and presenters. The program will air 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.
Merial, the maker of NexGard, sponsored the AHA's American Hero Dog Awards and Harley's originating category, the "Emerging Hero Dog," to highlight how the nominated dogs help make life easier and better for all dogs.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health and well-being of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,500 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide with over €2 billion of sales in 2014. Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see www.merial.com.
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