American Humane Association Sending America's Hero Dogs to Hollywood!

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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15 -- Everyone agrees that there are few things as heart-warming, meaningful and joyful as those amazing stories you hear about a hero dog saving a platoon of soldiers from a deadly IED, a therapy dog that helped a little girl battle cancer, or a heroic hound who overcame incredible odds. 

With close to one million votes cast so far, folks all across America have cast their ballots for their favorite heroic hounds at www.herodogawards.org. Every day for the next two weeks, people can read the remarkable stories of the 141 courageous canines competing in this year’s annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™, and help choose the nation’s eight finalists for 2013. These incredible stories of love, loyalty and innate intelligence are impressing people across the country, and each day you can vote for your top choice in each of eight categories: Law Enforcement/Arson Dog, Service Dog, Guide Dog, Therapy Dog, Military Dog, Search & Rescue Dog, Hearing Dog or Emerging Hero Dog (an ordinary dog who does extraordinary things). 

Once this initial voting round is completed, and eight category winners have been chosen, a second round of public voting will begin in August. The eight finalists and their handlers will be flown to Hollywood where on October 5, at the star-studded Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the American Hero Dog of the year will be named. 

The Hero Dog Awards highlights the powerful relationship between dogs and people and helps raise much-needed resources to support the vital work of American Humane Association – the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals.  Presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and broadcast on Hallmark Channel, generous sponsors of the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards include MRB Productions, national online sponsor and therapy dog category sponsor Zoetis, Law enforcement/arson dog category sponsor State Farm, Military Dog category sponsor Royal Canin®, print media sponsor Modern Dog Magazine, category sponsor Paul Mitchell Schools, and Best Producer Sponsor Merial. The “National Spokesdog” for the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards is Super Smiley, a two-time shelter dog, animal actor, and animal advocate whose mission is to help all the shelter pets get adopted and to share the message that dogs are healers, teachers and heroes.

“For far too long, the brave work of our hero dogs has gone unnoticed,” said. Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. “I’m happy to say that because of the Hero Dog Awards, the public is paying more attention than ever before to the invaluable work done by millions of dogs every day to keep us healthy, safe, and, yes, happy. I encourage all Americans who enjoy the love and benefits of this unique human-animal bond to vote for these fabulous four-legged heroes.”

“I’ve had the privilege to rescue 13 dogs and experience the profound impact that they had had on my life,” said presenting sponsor Lois Pope, whose landmarks gifts have enabled a significant expansion of American Humane Association’s legendary Red Star Emergency Services program providing rescue, treatment, shelter, and other services for animals in times of natural disaster .  “I’ve also met so many other people whose dogs do extraordinary things, like providing therapy for veterans suffering from disabling injuries and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, helping the police sniff out drugs and weapons, serving the blind and deaf, giving unconditional love to children with cancer, and so much more.  They are all heroes and I’m so glad to be associated with a program that honors their heroism.” 

Tickets for the Hero Dog Awards Beverly Hills gala may be purchased online at herodogawards.org. And best of all, everyone can see who America’s top dog will be in 2013…for those unable to attend the gala, Hallmark Channel will broadcast the event as a two-hour national television special on October 30th.

But it all starts with choosing the final eight.  So go to www.herodogawards.org and cast your ballots!  And remember to vote early – and ARF’n!

About American Humane Association American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable 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, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education) 

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 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 Zoetis  Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, with a focus on both farm and companion animals.  The company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012.  It has more than 9,300 employees worldwide and a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries.

About Royal Canin USA Royal Canin USA is a leader in science-based cat and dog health nutrition. Founded by a veterinarian in 1968, Royal Canin has more than 40 years of experience in delivering individualized nutritional solutions. In collaboration with an expert team of nutritionists, breeders, and veterinarians from around the world, Royal Canin places cats and dogs at the central point of the innovation process. The Royal Canin product line offers a range of diets based on size, age, breed, life style and therapeutic requirements. Royal Canin diets are available at veterinary hospitals and pet specialty stores nationwide. Royal Canin is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. To learn more about Royal Canin visit www.royalcanin.us and “LIKE” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/royalcanin.us.

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 18,000 agents and more than 69,000 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. 44 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 Paul Mitchell Schools  At Paul Mitchell Schools, we believe that education is an adventure and the learning experience needs to be fun. Our instructors—we call them “learning leaders”—are trained to draw out the artist in every student and prepare them to compete in the real world. Through our annual “FUNraising” campaign, we’ve raised and donated millions of dollars in support of many charitable causes. We’ve built homes with Habitat for Humanity, fed thousands of African orphans, and supported the victims of AIDS, breast cancer, homelessness, abuse, and hundreds of other causesEstablished over 30 years ago, the Paul Mitchell network is nearly 100,000 salons strong and in 81 countries worldwide; every professional hairdresser knows the Paul Mitchell name. Now, with the arrival of Paul Mitchell Schools, we’ve taken the world of cosmetology education by storm! Visit www.paulmitchell.edu to learn more. 

About Merial - 2013   Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 6,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2012 sales were $2.8 billion (€2.2 billion).Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see www.merial.com.

About Modern Dog Magazine A must-read for dog lovers! Get inspired with the best ideas and solutions for life with dogs. Each issue features breed profiles, budget buys, activities for you and your dog, health & wellness, dog-friendly travel destinations, rescue stories, product reviews, photo contests, giveaways and more! Modern Dog is your guide to a better bond with your dog.

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