State Farm® Joins American Humane Association to Salute Hero Dogs

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Arson Dogs are a Hot Category in the 2012 Hero Dog Awards


WASHINGTON, D.C. – State Farm, one of America’s largest insurance companies, joined forces with American Humane Association, one of America’s oldest humanitarian organizations, to celebrate the powerful relationship between dogs and people with the sponsorship of the “Law Enforcement & Arson Dog” category for the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Dog lovers across the country are nominating their favorite canines in all eight of the categories for the Hero Dog Awards at www.herodogawards.org.

The Hero Dog Awards were created by the American Humane Association to celebrate the powerful relationship between dogs and people. Presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and broadcast nationwide on Hallmark Channel, the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards are produced by Emmy® award winning MRB Productions. The annual national competition searches out and recognize America’s Hero Dogs — often ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things, whether it’s saving lives on the battlefield, lending sight or hearing to a human companion, or just welcoming a person home at the end of a hard day.

Each year billions of dollars in property damage and hundreds of lives are lost as a result of arson-related fires. Since 1993 State Farm has provided funding for the acquisition and training of special dogs who detect accelerants and the cause of fires. State Farm has placed more than 250 arson dogs in the U.S. and Canada over the last two decades.

“Dogs enrich and protect our lives every single day and we use the Hero Dog Awards to tell the powerful story of the human — animal bond,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of the 135-year-old American Humane Association. “We are deeply gratified that our corporate partners like State Farm recognize the important role that animals play in our lives every day and join with us in celebrating dogs and the people who love them.”

“State Farm was very proud when Arson Dog Sadie won in the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards’ Law Enforcement & Arson dog category last year, given that Sadie and her handler, Jerry Means, are graduates of the State Farm Arson Dog Program,” said David Beigie, State Farm Vice President – Public Affairs. “We are thrilled to join American Humane Association in celebrating the unconditional love and commitment that dogs bring to our lives.”

Dogs may be nominated in eight categories for the Hero Dog Awards: Law Enforcement & Arson Dogs; Service Dogs; Therapy Dogs; Military Dogs; Guide Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; Hearing Dogs; and Emerging Hero Dogs (the category for ordinary dogs). Finalists in each of the eight categories will be selected by the public from the pool of contestants, and flown to Hollywood with two of their human friends to the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California on October 6, 2012. There they will walk the red carpet, attend the show which will be broadcast on Hallmark Channel, and will be recognized in a video tribute at the black-tie gala where the winning American Hero Dog will be announced. Nominations close on March 26, 2012, and voting by the general public will begin on April 1, 2012.

Visit www.herodogawards.org to nominate a dog today!

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 Lois Pope and the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation
Lois Pope is one of America's leading philanthropists and humanitarians. Through her various charitable mechanisms, including the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., she is devoted to saving lives, helping people help themselves, improving the quality of life for families in need and encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others. Her foundations also provide awards for medical research, college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare. Among the many organizations that benefit from her leadership are the American Humane Association; the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, which she founded to spearhead the development of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation's first and only permanent public tribute to the three million living disabled American veterans and the thousands who have died; the University of Miami, where her major contribution endowed the Lois Pope LIFE Center, the top catastrophic neurological research facility in the world and home to the renowned Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Leaders in Furthering Education, which has provided a summer camp experience for more than 15,000 disadvantaged and special needs children, as well as college scholarship support to dozens of disadvantaged high school students who aspire to careers as physicians/researchers; Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's Red Cross, for new ambulances; and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for a new mobile pet adoption unit.

About State Farm
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts — more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 37 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.

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 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through approximately 5,492 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 daytime original programming 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. For more information, please visit www.HallmarkChannelPress.com.

About MRB Productions
MRB's feature department is currently in production on the psychological thriller Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, starring Jessica Biel and Kaya Scodelario. MRB's other film, Grassroots, starring Jason Biggs and Lauren Ambrose, is slated to premiere later this year. In TV, MRB produced the inaugural Hero Dog Awards in addition to a decade of experience producing the pre-taped segments and VIP program for ESPN's ESPY Awards. 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, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis, and 72 & Sunny for clients such as Mattel, Samsung, Kellogg's, Sprint, NHL, Corona, Smirnoff, Wal-Mart, Hyundai and University of Phoenix.

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