Nation’s Top Dogs Announced in First-ever American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, presented by CESAR® Canine Cuisine

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Eight finalist dogs vying for the title of American Hero Dog

LOS ANGELES, CA, August 02, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — They represent America’s best in eight categories and they’ve held on to the top spots after more than 300,000 votes cast coast-to-coast by some of the most passionate advocates in any national election in history– reaching CESAR® Canine Cuisine’s donation goal of $200,000 to American Humane Association. Meet the top eight finalists for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ and start voting for the winner at www.herodogawards.org!

After weeks of voting by the American people, the names of the nation’s top dogs are being revealed in the following categories: Law Enforcement and Arson Dogs; Service Dogs; Therapy Dogs; Military Dogs; Guide Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; Hearing Dogs; and Emerging Hero Dogs to honor “ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things.” Now the public will have the opportunity to help choose the Grand Prize-winning American Hero Dog!

The eight finalists include Sadie (from Westminster, CO), the certified accelerant detection K-9 who works with the Major Crimes Unit of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation; Zurich (Des Plaines, IL), the certified service dog who has enriched the life of his sick partner; Stacey Mae (Guffey, CO), the therapy dog who has helped collect thousands of teddy bears from around the world for sick children in hospitals; Military Working Dog Bino (Las Cruces, NM), who has served as a Narcotics Detection/Patrol K9 for almost eleven years; Roselle (Novato, CA), the guide dog who worked at the World Trade Center and calmly directed her handler down 1,463 stairs of stairs on September 11th; K9 Sage (Hagerman, NM), the search and rescue dog who provided closure to many families of the missing; Harley (Fountain Hills, AZ), the hearing dog who has given his owner self-confidence and a feeling of equality with others that she had not experienced before; and finally, Ricochet (Escondido, CA), the dog who surfs with special needs kids and people with disabilities for therapeutic purposes.

“Every dog nominated is a bona fide hero,” says Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane Association. “Every day, across America, dogs protect, comfort, and give their unconditional friendship and affection to the ill, the infirm, the wounded veteran, and the frightened child. For millennia, dogs have truly been our best friends and it is time to recognize that friendship and celebrate the heroic feats they perform for us daily.”

The final and critical piece of this exciting journey to select the winning 2011 American Hero Dog begins today with the public and an all-star panel of judges including Victoria Stilwell, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Kristin Chenoweth, Jillian Michaels, and animal care experts such as Wendy Diamond, who will help choose the Grand Prize Winner from among the finalists. The judging period will continue until September 30th. The winner will be announced at the first-ever American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ celebrity gala, presented by CESAR® Canine Cuisine, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on Oct. 1, 2011. The Hero Dog Awards, produced by Emmy® award winning MRB Productions, are a celebration of the powerful relationship between dogs and people and will be broadcast on Hallmark Channel on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2011.

Table sales and sponsorship information for the Hero Dog Awards gala is available at www.americanhumane.org/herodogs or by calling (800) 227-4645.

About American Humane Association

Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals 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 CESAR® Canine Cuisine

CESAR® Canine Cuisine is an exceptional line of high-quality cuisine and treats for small- to medium-sized dogs. We offer individually prepared entrees available in two textures, original pate and gourmet filets in sauce. From the filet mignon flavor to CESAR SUNRISE breakfast entrees, CESAR® CANINE CUISINE features a variety of irresistible flavors and caters to the taste of small- to medium-sized dogs. Visit www.cesar.com to learn more.

About MRB Productions

MRB is an Emmy winning production company specializing in producing content across all media platforms. MRB’s recent projects include the acclaimed web series The Confession, staring Kiefer Sutherland, which acquired paramount success, leading to a feature deal with Image Entertainment. MRB’s feature department is currently in post-production on a Stephen Gyllenhaal film Grassroots, slated to premiere later this year. On the television side, MRB produces the pre-taped segments, coordinates talent logistics and the VIP program for the past decade for ESPN’s ESPY Awards. Most recently, MRB garnered two Emmy nominations for the 2010 NBA Draft Opening Sequence. Additional TV projects include two seasons of the mockumentary comedy show Free Radio on VH1 and Comedy Central. MRB’s commercial repertoire includes collaborations with Leo Burnett, Periera O’Dell, Team Detroit, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners for clients such as Geico, Kellogg’s, Ford, Sprint, Mattel, Corona, Miller Lite, Smirnoff, Sony, NBC, Wal-Mart, Hyundai and University of Phoenix.

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 entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 87.5 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,450 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation’s leading network in quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, lifestyle and general entertainment content, and is the home of "The Martha Stewart Show", which anchors the channel’s new daytime HOME block. Hallmark Channel’s sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on the family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events.

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