Every Dog Is A Hero! Nominations Now Open for 2nd Annual “American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™”

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STUDIO CITY, CA, December 19, 2011 – Following the spectacular reception of the inaugural “American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards,” presented by cesar® canine cuisine and taped before a live audience on October 1, 2011, American Humane Association and Hallmark Channel are pleased to announce that nominations are officially open for the second annual installment of the program. Dog lovers are encouraged to visit www.herodogawards.org to nominate their heroic canines in any one of eight categories: Law Enforcement/Arson; Service; Therapy; Military; Guides; Search and Rescue; Hearing; and Emerging Hero Dogs, a category reserved for ordinary pets who do extraordinary things.

The broadcast of the 2012 Hero Dog Awards will air on Hallmark Channel next fall, and an encore presentation of the 2011 installment, hosted by Emmy® Award-winning Carson Kressley (“Carson Nation”, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”), will air on Hallmark Movie Channel on December 23 at 8pm ET/PT. Presented by cesar® canine cuisine, the 2011 Hero Dog Awards was produced by Emmy® Award-winning MRB Productions, who will return to produce the second-annual presentation.

“Americans love a hero, and this year's inaugural Hero Dog Awards proved that's true for the four-legged kind as well,” said Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane Association. “The overwhelming outpouring of support for the 2011 Hero Dog Awards instantly transformed this event from a great idea, into a campaign and program that was nationally embraced. Everyone has a hero dog in his or her life, and we want to hear about yours!”

“In a very short period of time, the Hero Dog Awards has established itself as the ultimate celebration of dogs and the remarkable things they do to make people's lives better. This annual initiative recognizes these tremendous animals through their stories of loyalty, bravery, commitment, and unconditional love,” says Bill Abbott, CEO and President, Crown Media Family Networks. “As we open nominations for next year, we look forward to hearing and sharing more of these accounts, which are important reminders of how integral the human-dog partnership is to the enrichment of so many lives. I actively encourage dog lovers and everyone who has a four-legged hero to visit www.herodogawards.org and nominate your dog or share in the inspirational stories of others.”

After all the nominations are in, each category will be narrowed down to one finalist through online voting. The eight category winners and their human companions will be flown to Los Angeles for the main event, the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, on October 6th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the winning American Hero Dog will be announced.

Finalists for the 2011 Hero Dog Awards show included: Iraq war veteran dog WMD Bino C152; Sage, who had helped find survivors at the Pentagon after the 9/11 attacks; Ricochet, the only dog in the world who conducts surf therapy with special-needs children; Arson Detection Dog Sadie who has worked more than 40 fires; Service Dog Zurich, who has helped his ill owner in small and immeasurable ways; Hearing Dog Harley, who helps his human companion live a richer and safer life; Therapy Dog Stacey Mae, who helped collect more than 2,000 teddy bears for ill children; and the overall winning 2011 “American Hero Dog” Roselle, a guide dog who led her blind companion down 78 flights of stairs to safety during the World Trade Center terror attacks.

The Hero Dog Awards celebrate the powerful relationship between dogs and people and help to raise much-needed resources to support the vital work of American Humane Association — the nation's voice for the protection of children and animals. In 2011, American Humane Association's charity partners, which include The Pine Street Foundation, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Dogs for the Deaf, National Fire Dog Monument, U.S. War Dog Association, National Search Dog Alliance, Canine Companions for Independence, and Paws & Effect were granted a total of $50,000 as a result of the Hero Dog Awards. Cesar® Canine Cuisine made a $200,000 donation to American Humane Association, which the organization will put toward supporting the role of therapy dogs in helping Americans in need.

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