WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Humane Association, the country's first national humane organization, today announced the official start of the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ campaign, the annual year-long search for America's bravest heroes on both ends of the leash. Beginning January 15th, dog owners across the country are invited to visit www.herodogawards.org and nominate their four-legged hero in one of eight categories. The top dog in each category will be flown to Los Angeles and celebrated at a red carpet, star-studded awards gala on September 19th, where one heroic hound will be unveiled as American Hero Dog of the year – the most prestigious honor a canine can receive. The fifth annual Hero Dog Awards will air nationwide as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall.
The eight categories for 2015 are: Therapy Dogs, sponsored by Zoetis (also the official Online sponsor for the competition); Service Dogs, sponsored by Modern Dog magazine; Law Enforcement Dogs; Military Dogs; Arson Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; Guide/Hearing Dogs; and Emerging Hero Dogs, a category that pays tribute to ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things. Following the nominations period, which ends on February 25th, 24 semifinalists (the top three in each category) will be chosen in a 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 vie for the title of 2015 American Hero Dog.
Over the past four years, millions of Americans have cast votes for nearly 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 Victoria Stilwell, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Beth Stern, James Denton, Joey Lawrence, Lisa Vanderpump, Mickey Rooney, Burt Reynolds, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, John Ondrasik, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristen Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Lou Wegner, Bailee Madison, and many, many more.
Winners in each category will earn money for a designated charity partner and 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, celebrates the importance of the human-animal bond.
"The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards recognize the extraordinary work dogs do for people every single 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 one special night every fall."
Key dates for the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ contest include:
- January 15-February 25: Nominations period
- March 9-May 15: Voting to determine 24 semifinalists
- May 25-June 26: Voting to determine the 8 category finalists
- July 4-September 7: Voting to determine 2015's American Hero Dog
- September 19: Fifth annual Hero Dog Awards event in Los Angeles
And because behind every hero pet there is a hero veterinarian or veterinary technician, the Hero Dog Awards will feature a second contest – the American Humane Association Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards™, sponsored by Zoetis. Pet owners across America will be invited to nominate their favorite animal caretakers in these two fields, with each to be honored at the Hero Dog Awards event on September 19. The nomination period for this separate contest will open on January 21.
More information about the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, including complete contest rules and entry information, can be obtained by visiting www.herodogawards.org. For more information about the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards™, please visit www.herovetawards.org. More information on sponsorship opportunities can be had by emailing Paul Raybould at [email protected] or by calling 1-800-227-4645.
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 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 family entertainment available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 85 million subscribers. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading destination for quality family programming featuring an ambitious slate of original content, including movies; scripted series, such as Cedar Cove and When Calls the Heart; annual specials like Hero Dog Awards and Kitten Bowl; and a daily 2-hour lifestyle show, Home & Family. Hallmark Channel is also home to annual holiday franchise, Countdown to Christmas, featuring a lineup of 24/7 holiday programming, including The 12 New Movies of Christmas. Rounding out the networks' lineup are television's most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, The Middle, Little House on the Prairie, and Frasier. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, available in HD and SD, features a unique mix of content including original movies and acquired series that are dramatic in tone and focus on the lighter side of the mystery genre, as well as classic presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library.
Zoetis (zō-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 and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2013, the company generated annual revenues of $4.6 billion. With approximately 9,800 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2014, Zoetis has a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 27 manufacturing facilities in 10 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information, visit www.ZoetisUS.com.
About Modern Dog magazine
Modern Dog magazine is a must-read for dog lovers! Get inspired with the best ideas and solutions for life with dogs. Each issue features cool finds, design, insight into your dog's behaviour, best buys, wellness, rescue, training, fun DIY how-to's, contests and more! Modern Dog is your guide to a better bond with your dog. A large part of Modern Dog's mission is to support rescue and the organizations that work tirelessly to help to dogs in need. www.moderndogmagazine.com
SOURCE American Humane Association