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Who’s a Good Dog? More than 400 of Humankind’s Best Friends Nominated for Chance to Become Nation’s Top Hero Dog

Sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, national campaign to culminate in red carpet awards gala and two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall.

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, April 2, 2020 — Every dog has its day, and more than 400 of the nation’s bravest dogs are hoping that day will come for them this fall during the 10th annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards®, which is sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and will be broadcast as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall. Fully 408 of them are competing for the honor of being named 2020’s American Hero Dog, the highest honor a dog can receive. Now it’s up to America to help decide which of these dogs will take home the top prize.

“Our best friends do so much to improve and even save our lives, and every dog owner knows about the extraordinary, unbreakable bond they share with their dog,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO. “The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are our way of celebrating the power of the human-animal bond, which has been a core part of our organization’s mission for 143 years.”

Dog lovers across the country are invited to visit www.herodogawards.org and vote once per day for their favorite dogs in each of seven categories. After the first round of voting ends on May 7, 21 semifinalists (the top three in each category) will move on to the second round of voting. From this pool, the field will narrow down to the seven category finalists. The winning dog in each category will take part in the nationally televised Hero Dog Awards this fall and this year’s top American Hero Dog will be revealed.

The seven categories for 2020 are: Military Dogs, sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation; Therapy Dogs, sponsored by the World Pet Association; Law Enforcement Dogs; Service Dogs; Shelter Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; and, Guide/Hearing Dogs. American Airlines is the official airline of the Hero Dog Awards.

“The Hero Dog Awards recognize some of America’s bravest heroes,” said philanthropist and Platinum Presenting Sponsor Lois Pope. “I am honored to present this invaluable effort to honor the best of our best friends and shine a light on the extraordinary acts of courage and kindness performed by ordinary dogs.”

During the past nine years, Americans have cast millions of votes for more than 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 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, Kristen Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Eric Stonestreet,  Danica McKellar, Bailee Madison and many, many more.

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

  • 1st Round Voting:                                                       April 2 – May 7
  • 2nd Round Voting:                                                     May 28 – July 16
  • 3rd Round Voting:                                                      July 30 – September 10
  • Hero Dog Awards & Broadcast:                               Fall 2020, exact date/time to be announced

All rounds open and close at 12 p.m. Pacific Time.  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), starting June 11 right here: www.HeroVetAwards.org.

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

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 in Palm Beach County. Lois Pope recently donated to American Humane several Lois Pope 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 a region.

On Oct. 5, 2014, Mrs. Pope saw the completion of a decades-long dream – the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which was dedicated by President Obama in Washington DC.  It will stand in perpetuity as a reminder to the public and legislators of the courage and sacrifices of the four million-plus living disabled veterans and all those who died before them, as well as the need to be vigilant in assuring their support and understanding the human cost of war.  Through her advocacy, Oct. 5 every year will serve as a National Day of Honor for disabled veterans.

A mother, a grandmother, and a great grandmother, Lois has trained for and completed five New York City Marathons.

About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned by Hallmark Cards, Inc., is Crown Media Family Networks’ flagship 24-hour cable television network, distributed nationwide in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to 80 million homes.  As the country’s leading destination for quality family entertainment, Hallmark Channel delivers on the 100-year legacy of the Hallmark brand.  In addition to its signature new, original movies, the network features an ambitious lineup of other new, original content, including scripted primetime series, such as “Good Witch,” “When Calls the Heart” and “Chesapeake Shores”; annual specials including “Kitten Bowl” and “Hero Dog Awards”; 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,” “Love Ever After,” “Summer Nights,” “Fall Harvest” and “Winterfest.”  Rounding out the network’s diverse slate are some of television’s most beloved comedies and series, including “The Golden Girls” and “Frasier.”

For more information, please visit www.crownmediapress.com

To visit the network website, please visit www.hallmarkchannel.com

Hallmark Channel on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube

About the 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 www.worldpetassociation.org.

About American Airlines
American Airlines offers customers 6,800 daily flights to more than 365 destinations in 61 countries from its hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. With a shared purpose of caring for people on life’s journey, American’s 130,000 global team members serve more than 200 million customers annually. Since 2013, American has invested more than $28 billion in its product and people and now flies the youngest fleet among U.S. network carriers, equipped with industry-leading high-speed Wi-Fi, lie-flat seats, and more inflight entertainment and access to power. American also has enhanced food and beverage options in the air and on the ground in its world-class Admirals Club and Flagship lounges. American was recently named a Five Star Global Airline by the Airline Passenger Experience Association and Airline of the Year by Air Transport World. American is a founding member of oneworld®, whose members serve 1,100 destinations in 180 countries and territories. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting news.aa.com and connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.

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