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One Week Left to Help Choose Finalists for America’s Top Dog

Public Will Decide on Seven Finalists for 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards®Airing this Fall on Hallmark Channel

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, July 9, 2020 — For thousands of years, dogs have given us their protection, companionship and unconditional love. Now we humans have one week to pay back a tiny portion of that considerable debt by helping to choose the finalists for the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards®, a nationwide effort to identify and honor the best of our best friends. The awards will be broadcast nationally on Hallmark Channel as a two-hour special this fall in conjunction with the network’s pet adoption advocacy initiative, Hallmark Channel’s Adoption Ever After, which aims to empty shelters and end this country’s epidemic of pet homelessness.

“The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are our way of honoring the best of our best friends,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO. “For the 10th year, this unique e celebration  calls our attention to the life-changing, life-saving power of the human-animal bond – a bond that is particularly important this year as we all look for bright spots of hope and love to see us through these uncertain times.”

Animal lovers are invited to visit once a day until July 16 at 12 p.m. Pacific Time to vote for their favorite hero dog in each of the seven categories: Therapy Dogs, sponsored by World Pet Association; Service Dogs, sponsored by Lulu’s Fund; Military Dogs; Law Enforcement Dogs; Shelter Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; and, Guide/Hearing Dogs.  The winning dog in each category will then take part in the nationally televised Hero Dog Awards this fall where this year’s top American Hero Dog will be revealed.

Meet the 21 remarkable Hero Dog Awards semifinalists!

Here are brief descriptions of this year’s semifinalists, written by the hero dogs’ owners/handlers:

Therapy Dogs category (sponsored by World Pet Association)

  • Bandit (St. Robert, Missouri) – Bandit is a 9-year-old Great Dane who was rescued as a puppy, right before he was scheduled to be euthanized due to medical issues. Ever since that day, he has spent more than eight years giving back to others, showing us all what unconditional love looks like. Through his work with the USO of Missouri Inc., he embraces his deformities and uses them to show others how to overcome obstacles. From helping lift the spirits of our service members in time of need to escorting children to the burial of their loved one to providing support to our military on suicide watch to being an ear for children to read to, Bandit has spent his entire life providing strength and compassion to those in need. Bandit is a hero to so many throughout the country. His soulful eyes have captured the hearts of so many and his mission has inspired others to follow in his footprints. Being named the 2020 American Hero Dog would help show others that if you take a chance on a rescue, no matter what their circumstance, they have the ability to change lives, encourage others and be the hero that we all need at times. Let Bandit steal your heart.
  • K9 Raider (Corona, California) – K9 Raider is a 4-year-old English Labrador and a highly trained facility dog from Canine Companions for Independence in Oceanside, California. He knows 40 commands and uses those, along with his special skill set, to comfortably and safely interact with all community members. K9 Raider is the Corona Police Department’s first facility dog and his primary focus is to assist those impacted by traumatic events and crime. Raider has worked for the Corona Police Department for two years. During that time, Raider has been involved in more than 350 public events, more than 100 trauma victim assists, and has had direct interactions with approximately 45,000 people. Raider is mostly recognized by becoming the first, and only, dog in Riverside County to assist a victim in court. Since his first court case, he has assisted in seven court cases in four of the five Superior Courtrooms in the county. Raider’s partnership and success with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has led to the Victim Advocate’s Office obtaining a grant for two courtroom dogs. Raider gained global recognition with his assistance to the Turpin children in 2018. This highly publicized case involved years of severe physical and mental abuse of 13 children by their parents. Raider worked with the children for almost two years. Raider is also a regional resource as a member of the Riverside County Crisis Response Team. Raider deployed to the Borderline Grill shooting in 2018 and the Saugus High School shooting in 2019.
  • Olive (Jefferson City, Missouri) – From hopeless and homeless to living her purpose, Olive was rescued from the streets of Los Angeles by Brandon McMillan, host and animal trainer of the Emmy Award-winning CBS show, Lucky Dog. Lisa Groves Bax, a child advocate volunteer for abused/neglected children in the judicial system in Missouri, saw the need for a resource to assist the scores of children facing the daunting task of appearing or testifying in court. After extensive training with Brandon McMillan, Olive was united with her forever family in Missouri, and ready to live her purpose as a certified therapy dog. Olive was tested and evaluated by Therapy Dogs International (TDI). Through no fault of their own, vulnerable children are facing unknown proceedings because an adult failed to care properly for them. Olive’s mission is to make sure that no child walks alone through the courtroom doors, and provides comfort throughout the unknown journey that the child faces against their abuser or neglecting adult, which in most cases is their very own parents. Olive has served more than 300 children since beginning in the court system in 2016, and continues to assist children with extremely difficult criminal trials in order to get a conviction against the abusers. Olive is an American Hero Dog to the children she serves, and deserves to add this title to her endless endeavors advocating for the awareness of child abuse/neglect and serving children in the courtroom.

Service Dog category (sponsored by Lulu’s Fund)

  • Hero (Lancaster, California) – Hero entered my life when I was 17 years old. I was antisocial, had family issues and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was not planning on making him my service dog until I realized how much he could help me. Working through ongoing medical issues and pushing me to overcome some hurdles, he gave me a future I was excited about. Together, we have traveled to every state in the USA, performed on the largest stages and most importantly he became the Hero I truly needed. Hero and I placed fifth on America’s Got Talent in 2017 and were able to meet and talk to so many incredible people! We have been using our platforms to help educate and bring awareness to service dogs. I am so thankful that Hero is such a stable dog and has been able to handle other dogs in public. Hopefully, as we continue to educate, we can make a difference. Going into his eighth year with me, he is starting to slow down and I am having to make the hard decision to retire him. I am hoping that our last working year together can be as memorable as the past eight amazing years. Everyone needs a hero and I’m so glad I found mine.
  • Dolly Pawton (Naples, Maine) – Dolly Pawton is my cardiac alert dog, trained to alert if my blood pressure drops or heart rate rises to an unsafe level. Being confined to a wheelchair due to multiple medical conditions has been difficult, to say the least. At times, my body will physically not allow me to do everyday tasks. I try to remain as active as my body will allow. With Dolly’s help I am able to do that. Before having a service dog, I went out very little but Dolly changed that. She helps me to function without having to depend on others. Dolly helps in every aspect of my life, including reducing my social anxiety. I was a victim of domestic violence which caused PTSD. I struggled to get out of bed not just because of my health but because my self-confidence was horrible. Because of my fears, it was much easier and safer for me to stay home. People have no idea the pain I was in before Dolly. Living with so many medical issues along with PTSD takes a real toll on me both physically and emotionally. I wake up with nightmares, terrified to go back to bed but now I have Dolly right by my side to keep me safe. Dolly gave me the self-confidence and inspiration to write and illustrate a children’s book called Pawsibly the Best Medicine. It is a biography of Dolly told with a bit of humorous fiction. We bring her book to schools to educate children about service dogs. She is truly my most crucial medical equipment with a loving, beating heart. I don’t know what I would do without her in my life and she is my hero.
  • Sobee (Holt’s Summit, Missouri) – I am nominating my service dog, Sobee. Sobee is a 4-year-old rescue who was in a kill shelter in Georgia. She was two days away from being euthanized when the organization K9s On the Front Line rescued her, and gave her to me. I am A combat veteran who struggles with PTSD and a recovering addict. I began self-medicating after returning home from two deployments. I was living in Missouri and had no place to go except to keep digging my grave. With one last effort to have a good life, I got on a bus and traveled to Maine where I grew up. After returning to Maine, I ran into an old high school friend who had a service dog. I asked him if it helped and he said it saved him. He put me in contact with K9s On the Front Line and this is when my life changed. The founder, Dr. Hagen Blaszyk, took me under his wing and assured me everything was going to be just fine as I had an army of support with me now. When they gave me Sobee, it was an instant bond. I began getting outside, going for walks, and opening my curtains. I was beginning to see the world again because of a dog? Yes, because of a dog. When I’m having a panic attack, Sobee is trained to bring me back to the present moment and back to reality. If we are out in public, Sobee is trained to watch my back. Because of Sobee, I was able to start a chapter of K9s On the Front Line in Missouri, paying it forward for veterans Sobee is a true Hero Dog or I’d be buried!

Military Dogs category

  • Ali (Kings Bay, Georgia) – Throughout the past year, ME2 Reklis and K9 Ali continued to increase Ports Waterways and Coastal Security (PWCS) mission employment by serving as the lead K9 Deployable Specialized Forces for Super Bowl 54, supporting a military outload, and sweeping high capacity passenger vessel terminals, accumulating a total of 41 deployment days. During Super Bowl 54, ME2 Reklis and K9 Ali worked in concert with more than 100 canines and handlers from federal, state, and local agencies from around the country, demonstrating their ability to seamlessly integrate with partner agencies and adapt to any operating environment. As a result, 600,000 spectators and 7,000 vehicles were screened at Super Bowl 54 during this highly attended event. Additionally, ME2 Reklis and K9 Ali performed 11,130 passenger and 108 vehicle screenings within Port Canaveral, the second-busiest cruise port in the world protecting $13 million dollars’ worth of relative expected losses. Furthering the PWCS mission, ME2 Reklis and K9 Ali provided explosive detection capabilities for a military outload for Defender Europe, which was the third largest North American Treaty Organization exercise, safeguarding more than 2,300 pieces of Department of Defense equipment. To showcase their adaptability within the maritime domain, they were the first Canine Explosive Detection Team to operationally perform vessel-to-vessel hoisting, ultimately resulting in K9 Ali alerting on potential explosive material.
  • Blue ll P491 (Lawrenceville, Georgia) – Blue served our country valiantly from 2011 to 2018. I served as her first handler on my second deployment to Afghanistan, which was her first deployment as an Improvised Explosive Device Detector Dog. While deployed, Blue and I went on over 300 combat missions. She found many IEDs, saving me, along with many Marines and Sailors during our deployment. Once we parted ways, I vowed to find her and adopt her one day. Six years later, she came up for review on her disposition while she was stationed in Okinawa, Japan where she served as an SSD. After seven years of honorable service, she retired in November 2018 and made her way from Japan to Georgia. She’s been enjoying her retirement with my family and me ever since. Blue is our own personal hero and deserves to be recognized as one in her life.
  • Rek (Sarasota, Florida) – Rek was born in September 2009. He was trained as an Explosive Detection Dog. Rek was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. When I met Rek, he was searching vehicles for explosives at the gates on a NATO base in Afghanistan. Rek conducted searches every day to ensure all military and civilians on base were safe. If his handler went on leave, Rek would be left behind and not worked until they returned. Rek never came back to U.S. soil until 2016. Rek spent five years of his life searching vehicles and being around possible threats every day. He is enjoying retirement in sunny Florida where he patrols for squirrels.

Guide/Hearing Dogs

  • Aura (Brunswick, Maine) – Aura is a trained hearing service dog. She became my ears after I lost my hearing in a rocket attack in Afghanistan. I was in despair after my injuries. I needed a helper. What I received was a fur guardian angel. She has restored my independence. I went from being a blown-up deaf person to a person who now feels safe and secure in the world. She never has a day off and I rely on her to keep me safe. She provides me with the confidence I need to interact in the world. She has allowed me to pursue my passions and purpose in life. I have no regrets about losing my hearing, I would trade my ears for Aura any day. She is happy to work for me, displaying undying loyalty. She knows I am deaf but loves me anyway. Always by my side, head up and ready for anything. She is my hope. I am forever grateful to her. There is not a medication or a therapy that could do for me what Aura does for me every day. The photograph of Aura was taken on the very first day I received her. I immediately felt her love flow through her leash right into my heart. She looks at me like I am the best person in the world. We hope to continue to be ambassadors for people with hearing loss. She has changed how I see and feel about the world. Aura is the epitome of a hero, putting others before herself, ensuring my safety over hers, and providing her constant service to me, asking nothing in return. We will continue to hike, explore, travel and enjoy all the world has to offer. She is my most sacred companion.
  • Beethoven (Loveland, Colorado) – “I suffer from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). SJS burns you alive from the inside out. At age nine 75 percent of my body was covered in second- and third-degree burns. My parents were told that if I survived I would be blind, deaf, permanently on a feeding tube, and would never be able to breathe on my own. Boy, were they wrong! Not only did I survive, but I also lived. Yes, my eyes, ears, lungs, heart, etc. don’t work great all the time, but it does not keep me from being the best person I can possibly be. Beethoven fills in the gaps so that all my broken parts are whole. Service Dog? Beethoven is the definition of a service dog. Each morning he nudges me a few minutes before my alarm goes off. He waits patiently as I get my painful body moving. He stands in front of the stairs until I find the railing and we begin our day. He guides me to the bus to head to work at the non-profit, No Barriers. In the office he greets everyone making sure their workday starts off with a smile. When we are not working for No Barriers we are volunteering for the Lions. We visit clubs and share our story inspiring them to continue to be Knights of the Blind. Beethoven shakes everyone’s hand who donates. Beethoven is my hero every moment of every day. Beethoven is a Guide Dog because I cannot see, but he is so much more to me and everyone who meets him.
  • Kissable Katie (Palm Coast, Florida) – Kissable Katie is my seeing eye dog and medical alert dog. She has saved my life on numerous occasions. She acts as my eyes and guides me daily. She safely maneuvers me through life’s obstacles. Kissable Katie alerts me prior to my having an epileptic seizure. She gets me sitting or lying down, out of traffic, and protects me while I have the seizure and can’t protect myself. Kissable Katie can pull my life alert button, call rescue, unlock the door, let rescue in, and bring them to me. She carries my medical information on a flash drive so rescue workers know my conditions. She stays with me until help arrives or goes and gets me help. It is because of Kissable Katie that I am able to leave my home safely and with confidence. I had been housebound for years, unable to leave my home due to my disabilities. Kissable Katie is my trusted companion and best friend. Kissable Katie not only saves my life, but my capacity for living life to the fullest by helping me to go out, live life, and enjoy life independently with her guidance.  Kissable Katie was trained by Freedom Guide Dogs. They are an exceptional guide dog school and they paired me with the perfect dog for me. Katie’s training is impeccable. Kissable Katie and I now volunteer with Paws of War Florida to help train shelter dogs as service dogs for veterans and first-responders who need a service dog. Dog and training are provided free to qualified veterans and first-responders, saving both ends of the leash. Kissable Katie is MY HERO. She saved my life.

Law Enforcement category

  • Axel (Scranton, Pennsylvania) – I adopted Axel at just 9 weeks old as a companion to help me deal with the after-effects of combat from serving in the Marine Corps. We became attached rather quickly. While out in the woods together I continuously noticed his passion to search for items. After numerous weeks I decided to contact a local search and rescue K9 team. They conducted an evaluation and decided Axel had what it takes to be air scent dog. We trained for many months sharpening our skills together. One day while working my police department, I was contacted by a director of a police K9 Academy offering to conduct an evaluation on Axel and me to become a police K9 team. The evaluation was conducted and determined that Axel had the drive/characteristics to be a police K9. We attended a lengthy training schedule and completed our certification in firearms/explosives detection. In Axel’s short period on this Earth, he has been a companion, a saving grace to a military veteran, a search-and-rescue K9, and now a police K9. He continues to impress me daily and is one of the friendliest dogs that the community we serve fell in love with. I nominate Axel for the American Hero dog because not only does he protect a community but saved a veteran from the darkness of war. We all had that “one” dog in our lives and axel will forever be that dog embedded in my heart. Because of him I am here today and for that he deserves this award.
  • Denny (Lindenhurst, New York) – Denny is part of the Agriculture Specialist K9 division also fondly called the Beagle Brigade. Denny’s job is to detect fruits, vegetables, meats, wildlife, invasive species and other prohibited items that may carry insects and/or disease. Denny and I work at JFK Airport, a high-volume international arrivals airport where having 25 to 30 positive hits a day is not unheard of. In one shift 70 to 80 international flights can arrive with thousands of passengers with tons of luggage. With the increases of dangerous outbreaks of certain animal and plant diseases, this has made Denny’s mission to “Find it!” (the command to start working) even more important as we are the first and last line of defense before the possible infected contraband enters the country through passenger baggage and sometimes international mail. The protection of this country’s agricultural wellbeing is paramount and rests on the small backs of 115 Agriculture teams working at all international arrival airports and land border crossings. In the photo you can see various fruits, vegetables, plants and meats that came from one passenger’s baggage that Denny alerted on. Several pests were found inside the fruit and sent for identification. All items were ground up or incinerated, destroying and stopping any possible spread.
  • K-9 Cody (Newport News, Virginia) – K-9 Cody started her career in explosives detection in Iraq, working hard to keep U.S. personnel safe at the U.S. Embassy. K-9 Cody was transferred back to the United States, where she continued her explosives detection career working at the Mall of America. She quickly stood out as a phenomenal K-9, and not just because of her ability to detect explosives, but also because of her calm and loving demeanor. K-9 Cody was transferred to her current position in Virginia, helping to safeguard such places as Busch Gardens and events for the LPGA, NBA, and the Fourth of July parade in Bristol, Rhode Island. She also helps the local agencies with bomb threats. In her off-time, she can be found doing demonstrations at local schools, churches, and festivals. She loves people and loves to say hi by walking up and leaning against their legs so she can enjoy a few scratches behind the ear. One story that sticks out about Cody and her gentle spirit was an incident that happened while she was working at an amusement park doing explosives detection. A young girl, around 8 or 9 years old, was in the park enjoying the day with her family. She was in line for a ride when a service dog bit her on the leg. She was traumatized and scared. Knowing how gentle Cody is, they called her to the aid station. When Cody saw the little girl, she immediately walked over, licked the girl’s hand and then laid at her feet. Almost immediately, the little girl stopped crying, and was soon smiling, thanks to Cody.

Shelter Dogs category

  • MacKenzie (Hilton, New York) – MacKenzie uniquely represents a rescue hero because she went from being a rescue dog to helping hundreds of other rescue dogs. She provides care for baby animals with birth defects and educates people of all ages. On December 31, 2013, an amazing dog named MacKenzie (Kenz for short) was born with a cleft palate. She was tube-fed from day one for almost a year and survived bouts of aspiration pneumonia. I have never seen such a will to live. She was sick, but more concerned with the baby animals at the rescue. At almost one year of age, she had her life-saving cleft palate surgery. She could eat and drink on her own and focus on what she was born to do. Most of the animals that we rescue are babies that can’t stay with their mother due to their medical needs. Kenz takes an interest in each baby from day one, regardless of species or size. She plays nurse and cleans, comforts, and cuddles them. She also acts as their mom and teaches them how to socialize, play, and have good manners. Kenzie’s other important hero role is to interact with children at schools, so they learn to be open-minded toward animals and people with physical differences. They learn kindness, patience, and that you can make a difference in the world no matter how small you are. Kenz also raises awareness about animals with disabilities. She may have lost her ability to bark, but she still makes herself heard and speaks for other animals born with a defect. She’s a shining example of how rescue saves more than just one life.
  • Mona Pants (Zebulon, North Carolina) – I adopted Mona from the Wake County Animal Shelter nine years ago. Mona was a beam of light…always happy, always loving, always shining. Everyone that met her fell in love and she soon became the subject of all my social media. I made a video with the Talking Pet app one day and shared it with my friends. Mona talked about her feelings and life, and soon, my friends demanded that she have her own Facebook page. I was reluctant, but thought – just for my friends – why not? We had 10 followers the first day…then 30…then 100…then 1000, and soon I realized that Mona resonated with a lot of people. Her happiness is contagious and she inspires people. I was involved in dog rescue for 12 years and was raising money for a paralyzed dog who needed a wheelchair, so, I enlisted Mona on her page to help and we raised all the money and then some. So much, in fact, I registered as a 501c3 charity and we started raising money for other dogs who needed help! Five years later, our Facebook page has over 100,000 followers and we have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help dogs all over the country. We have bought wheelchairs, repaired shelters, provided beds for shelters in Puerto Rico, paid for surgeries, and financed countless spays and neuters.  We have also purchased 52 K9 protective vests for K9 officers and we now are raising funds to provide fire departments with oxygen kits for pets. Mona inspires people to give what they can…even $1 makes a difference.
  • Noah (Mineral Point, Wisconsin) – What would you do if you were a pup born without eyes and used a wheelchair due to handicapped back legs? You become the world’s most beloved anti-bullying dog, and an ambassador for blind and handicapped animals! This is Noah, a pup who travels to schools with lessons about acceptance, tolerance, disabilities, and kindness. He is an outstanding visual for kids to see that it’s okay to be different, just like he is! Known as “The Anti-Bullying Pup,” Noah sends a strong message that it’s never okay to pick on people who may have disabilities, look or dress differently, or have different beliefs. Rescued by Saving K9 Lives, given a Muffin’s Halo to protect his head, and a wheelchair donated by Mango on a Mission, Noah has proven to the world that even with handicaps, he can do anything a “normal” pup can do….just a little differently. When he’s not in the classroom, you can find Noah at nursing homes, freely giving his love to seniors. His innate ability to love makes him a favorite guest. He also enjoys skiing on the slopes of Wisconsin with custom skis to fit his wheelchair! Noah has been a semi-finalist in the American Humane Hero Dog Awards in 2016, 2017, and 2018. He has been featured in People Magazine, interviewed by Inside Edition, named a Wisconsin Hero Dog, and chosen as ASPCA Dog of the Year 2018-19 for the work he does in schools. Noah can show you a thousand reasons why he was spared from certain death. He is a champion for the “underdog,” as he, himself, is one. Roll on, little guy!

Search and Rescue Dogs category

  • Küsse (Sheffield, Alabama) – I would like to nominate K9 Küsse for the courage and work drive she showed following the Cookville, Tennessee tornadoes. She worked for hours on end to help locate survivors and help bring closure to families with missing loved ones. Küsse is a 3-year-old German Shepherd who recently got her AWDA national certification. She has been training for around two years. She is very loyal and enjoys finding children when we train. She is a non-scent-specific area search K9 and is now working on her scent-specific. Her favorite toy is her purple Kong, Wubba. I am very proud of her and the courage she showed looking for recent survivors is the reason why I want to nominate Ms. Küsse for the Hero Dog Awards.
  • Little Man (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) – He is also known as “Tornado” and with good reason. Five days after an EF5 tornado blew a path of destruction through Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013, a little pit bull puppy was found in the rubble. It was a miracle he survived. Clearly, Little Man was meant to do big things. He was energetic, driven and oh-so-smart. Molly Gibb, a professional search-and-rescue volunteer, had been working with Animal Control and American Humane Rescue volunteers in the animal response efforts at the time. When he went unclaimed, she adopted him and their journey began. Today, he is a mature area and article search dog. With his athleticism, curiosity, problem-solving capacity and work ethic, he is solid in many types of conditions. His love of people is a strong motivator. On searches in rugged areas out of state, these qualities serve him well. Once, on the way to a search segment, he went off route into an unassigned area with such a change in behavior that Gibb read him to be on scent. Together with the group’s other dog, Poppy, they made a find. He’s great to read in the field…happy, clear. When he works as a helper dog for adjudicated and shelter dogs in need, a demo dog for Oklahoma Animal Control Association. classes on dog evals or participating in youth programs to learn about wilderness safety and disaster preparedness, he’s HAPPY. His mission is to pay it forward with integrity to those in need, be they people or other dogs. It’s about second chances, love and public service.
  • Remington (Montgomery, Texas) – K9 Remington is more than just a retired search and rescue K9; he is a cancer fighter and survivor, an advocate for retired K9s and for dogs to be in the fire service. Remi was nationally certified in human remains detection and worked many cases across the United States with Special K9s SAR. Remi has spent his entire life fighting for those who could not fight by assisting law enforcement in locating remains or evidence. His deployments range from missing people, cold cases, and Hurricane Harvey. When not on searches, he was at the New Caney Fire Department and later with Navasota Fire Department. He was a constant figure at public relations events, allowing people to learn about search and rescue, as well as fire safety. He brought comfort to firefighters after long shifts and rough calls. On June 19, 2019, Remi was medically retired after unexplained lameness. He was diagnosed with a puerperal nerve sheath tumor. Due to the financial burden, and his low chances of quality of life, euthanasia was advised. That’s when Jason Johnson, of Project K9 Hero, stepped in. He stated, “You let me worry about the money. Your job is to give Remi the fight he deserves.” Doctors with TAMU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital were able to save his life. All vet bills were paid by Project K9 Hero Donors. He still has cancer and is now a tripod, but he continues to live his life representing Project K9 Hero at events to raise awareness and funding for other retired K9s. Remi is more than a search dog; he is a HERO!

The Hero Dog Awards is celebrating its 10th anniversary of featuring America’s heroic hounds. Annually, the event garners more than one million votes and  draws the support and participation of top celebrity dog lovers from all over the world. Hosts, judges, award presenters and entertainment acts over the years include Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Betty White, Ariel Winter, Vivica A. Fox, Rebecca Romijn, Alison Sweeney, James Denton, Beth Stern, Bindi Irwin, Derek Hough, Richard Marx, Katharine McPhee, Michelle Beadle, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, John Ondrasik, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristin Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Eric Stonestreet,  Danica McKellar, Shannen Doherty, Sarah Michelle Gellar and many, many more.

Key upcoming dates for the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards (all rounds open and close at 12pm Pacific Time):

  • 2nd Round Voting:                                                     Ends July 16
  • 3rd Round Voting:                                                      July 30 – September 10
  • Hero Dog Awards Broadcast:                                    Fall 2020, exact date/time to be announced


And because behind every hero pet is a hero vet or veterinary nurse, please be sure to cast a daily vote for your favorites in the 2020 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards®, sponsored by Zoetis Petcare (a U.S. business unit of Zoetis), until August 13 at 12 pm Pacific Time right here:

For more information about the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, and to vote daily, please visit For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please email Jill Nizan at [email protected] 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 Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and to inquire about Hero Dog Awards sponsorship opportunities, please email Jill Nizan at [email protected].

About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned by Hallmark Cards, Inc., is Crown Media Family Networks’ flagship 24-hour cable television network.  As the country’s leading destination for quality family entertainment, Hallmark Channel delivers on the 100-year legacy of the Hallmark brand.  The network features an ambitious lineup of original content, including movies; scripted primetime series; annual pet specials including, “Kitten Bowl” and “American Rescue Dog Show”; 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” and many other seasonal offerings. Rounding out the network’s diverse slate are some of television’s most beloved comedies and series, including “The Golden Girls” and “Frasier.”

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About World Pet Association
Founded in 1950, World Pet Association (WPA) is the pet industry’s oldest nonprofit organization. Based in Southern California, WPA coordinates industry-defining trade shows—SuperZoo, Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference and America’s Family Pet Expo, a consumer pet and pet product expo. Through WPA’s Good Works program, proceeds from these events are funneled back into key industry organizations and nonprofits with the goal of making it easier for pet industry professionals to do business. WPA’s mission is to support the business needs of pet retailers and to promote responsible growth and development of the pet industry by providing thought leadership on consumer and legislative issues; leading efforts in the public sector to inform consumers and ensure safe, healthy lifestyles for all animals; and provide business resources, education, content and services to ensure pet product retailers have the support they need to be competitive. For more information about WPA and industry events, visit

About Lulu’s Fund
Lulu’s Fund, which is part of the Timothy T. Day Foundation, was founded in 2012. Named after the Day’s beloved pug Lulu, Lulu’s Fund continues the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to supporting organizations in the animal rescue community throughout the United States. Organizations that receive support from Lulu’s Fund are primarily those that rescue abused, neglected and abandoned dogs. Their focus is to treat existing medical issues, provide spay and neuter services, place dogs in safe foster homes, and ultimately find forever homes for the animals. For more information about the Foundation, visit

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