For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us, and given us their unconditional love. Now, once again, thanks to a national effort capturing the hearts and minds of millions of dog-loving Americans, it’s time to recognize the remarkable ways our best friends improve – and even save – our lives.
On October 28 at 8 pm ET/7C, Hallmark Channel will premiere the 2016 American Humane Hero Dog Awards™, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. You’ll see the amazing, funny and sometimes heartbreaking stories of eight courageous canines whose heroic exploits will touch your heart in an emotional two-hour special leading up to the moment when we reveal the name of the top American Hero Dog for 2016. Be sure to tune in and root for your favorite in this star-studded awards gala hosted by Beth Stern and James Denton at the Beverly Hilton and featuring special performances by Katharine McPhee.
Today, please meet the first of America’s eight most heroic hounds for 2016, Arson Dog “Judge”:
Allentown (PA) Fire Department Arson K9 Judge is a seven-year-old yellow Labrador retriever who has been in service since early 2011. His handler says Judge is a more vocal than the other arson dogs, but he attributes it to Judge’s outgoing personality and drive to work. Judge is a well-rounded K-9 who thrives in three major areas: investigation, deterrence, and education. As an investigator, Judge has worked more than 275 fire scenes and during that time, evidence he has found has led to multiple criminal arrests and civil penalties for insurance fraud cases. As a deterrent, the numbers speak for themselves – the number of arson fires has dropped 52.7 percent since Judge has been in service with the City of Allentown! As an educator, Judge has been in more than 500 fire safety programs and demonstrations for crime watch groups, specialty dog shows, elementary and high school programs, and everything in between. He is now part of a pilot program with autistic children to provide them with lifesaving information. He has been instrumental in making the entire Lehigh Valley and neighboring communities more aware of fire safety.
Now THAT’S a hero dog!