American Humane last week hosted a gala at the Sailfish Club in Palm Beach to honor the top winners in each category from the 2019 Hero Dog Awards. We really enjoyed celebrating the accomplishments of these canine heroes and the importance of each of their stories.
The annual Hero Dog Awards competition recognizes seven special categories for the Hero Dog Award. Categories include law enforcement, guide/hearing, military, search and rescue, service, shelter and therapy heroes.
We’re honored to be able to recognize so many heroic dogs and help share their incredible stories throughout the year. All of our heroes have a special and unique story to tell.
If your dog is a hero to you, nominate them for the 2020 Hero Dog Awards! Our seven finalists will travel to Hollywood and receive some well-deserved star treatment. The seven finalists will then attend our star-studded awards gala, which will be broadcast nationwide on the Hallmark Channel. All seven heroes will be recognized for their accomplishments, but only one will be given the 2020 Hero Dog Award.
You can nominate your canine hero in one of the following categories now through March 10th:
- Law Enforcement Dogs: Police dogs are used to detect illicit substances, fire accelerants, firearms, drugs or explosives on a person or at a crime scene, while protecting and serving their human handlers and keeping communities safe.
- Service Dogs: Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act other than vision or hearing impairment (see Guide/Hearing category.) Service dogs can be trained to retrieve objects, assist with balance, detect seizure or diabetic alerts or assist those with psychiatric disabilities.
- Therapy Dogs: Credentialed Animal-Assisted Therapy dogs are part of a therapeutic plan to aid with physical, social, emotional and cognitive challenges for persons other than the dog’s owner/handler. Therapy dogs work to enhance the lives of people in need, visiting schools, hospitals, veteran centers and beyond.
- Military Dogs: Military working dogs play an active role in searching for explosives and seizing enemies on our battlefields, and have partnered with our troops since World War I. Active duty and retired military working dogs are honored for their courageous sacrifices to our country.
- Search and Rescue Dogs: Search and rescue dog teams play a vital role in locating missing persons from accidents, natural disasters and beyond. These dogs are trained to use their keen sense of smell, night vision and endurance to help locate missing persons and return them home safely to their families.
- Guide/Hearing Dogs: Guide and hearing dogs are the “eyes and ears” for millions of visual and hearing-impaired people, and they are specifically trained to assist by leading, obeying commands, avoiding distractions, retrieving items, alerting to danger and more. These incredible dogs are often credited by their human handler as providing independence and a new lease on life.
- Shelter Dogs: With millions of dogs in shelters and on the streets in the U.S., many of the most incredible stories come from the heartfelt second chance stories of shelter and rescue dogs who are given a new “leash” on life. The Shelter Dog category shines a spotlight on ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things – the often-overlooked shelter or rescue dog who goes on to become a loved family pet. A shelter or rescue dog can be nominated for overcoming difficult odds, having a remarkable rescue story or for simply brightening the lives of the those who gave them their second chance. Dogs eligible for the Shelter category can be adopted from a rescue organization or shelter, rescued from the streets or homelessness or saved from unfavorable situations.
We look forward to hearing your hero’s story and to meeting this years’ 2020 Hero Dog nominees.