WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, January 21, 2020 — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, today announced the official start of the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards® campaign, sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. The annual, year-long campaign seeks to identify and honor America’s bravest heroes on both ends of the leash and will culminate this fall with the premiere of the “American Humane Hero Dog Awards” on Hallmark Channel. The two-hour special, now in its 10th year, is broadcast in conjunction with the network’s pet adoption advocacy initiative, Hallmark Channel’s Adoption Ever After, which aims to empty the shelters and end this country’s epidemic of pet homelessness.
Beginning today, dog owners across the country are invited to visit www.herodogawards.org and nominate their heroic hound in one of seven categories. The top dog in each category will travel to Los Angeles and be celebrated at the September 26 star-studded, red-carpet awards gala at the Beverly Hilton. One of the category winners will be unveiled as the American Hero Dog of the year – the most prestigious honor a canine can receive.
The seven categories for 2020 are: Law Enforcement Dogs, Military Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs, Shelter Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs and Guide/Hearing Dogs. Following the nominations period, which ends on March 10th, 21 semifinalists (the top three in each category) will be chosen in a first round of voting by the public. The second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity judge voting, will narrow the field to seven category finalists who will then vie, through a final public voting round, for the title of 2020 American Hero Dog.
During the past nine years, Americans have cast millions of votes for more than 1,000 dogs, all seeking the coveted title of American Hero Dog. The program reaches more than 1 billion people each year and draws the support and participation of top celebrity dog lovers from all over the world. Hosts, judges, award presenters and entertainment acts have included Vivica A. Fox, Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Betty White, Ariel Winter, Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Dean Cain, James Denton, Beth Stern, Katharine McPhee, Shannen Doherty, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristin Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Eric Stonestreet, Fred Willard, Danica McKellar and many, many more.
“Every year, hundreds of dogs vie for the coveted title of ‘American Hero Dog’ at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards,” said Robin Ganzert, Ph.D., American Humane’s president and CEO. “Dogs do so many extraordinary things to improve and even save our lives, and this campaign is our way of saluting our best friends.”
“For thousands of years, dogs have protected us, comforted us in times of need, and selflessly saved the lives of those around them,” said Lois Pope. “We need to recognize their extraordinary achievements and heroism, and I am pleased to serve once again for a ninth year as the platinum presenting sponsor for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards. I wish all our remarkable nominees luck and look forward to reading their stories of valor and courage.”
“Hallmark Channel is proud to have the American Humane Hero Dog Awards serve as the focal point of our Adoption Ever After initiative,” said Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks. “Adoption Ever After is our on- and off-air advocacy and awareness initiative designed to celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives, shine a spotlight on the wonderful animals in shelters across the country, and promote adoption.”
Key dates for the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards contest include:
- Nominations: January 21 – March 10
- 1st Round Voting: March 26 – May 7
- 2nd Round Voting: May 28 – July 16
- 3rd Round Voting: July 30 – September 10
- Hero Dog Awards gala: September 26
All rounds open and close at 12 p.m. Pacific Time.
More information about the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, including complete contest rules and entry information, can be obtained by visiting www.herodogawards.org and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For more information about the 2020 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards, please visit www.herovetawards.org. More information on sponsorship opportunities can be had by emailing Mari Harner at [email protected] or by calling 1-800-227-4645.
About American Humane
About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education)
As one of America’s leading philanthropists, Lois Pope has positively impacted the lives of individuals at the local, national and international levels. She has established three separate organizations dedicated to helping those in need. These organizations are the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., Leaders In Furthering Education (LIFE), and the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation. For more than 20 years she has been the driving force behind the Lois Pope LIFE Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine, The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, and a groundbreaking new program with American Humane in Palm Beach County. Lois Pope has recently donated several Lois Pope Rescue Vehicles. Each rescue vehicle is a 50-foot long response unit, complete with a Ford F-350 truck and trailer, which is specifically designed and outfitted to provide an array of animal emergency services and cruelty responses within the region.
On Oct. 5, 2014, Mrs. Pope saw the completion of a decades-long dream – the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which was dedicated by President Obama in Washington DC. It will stand in perpetuity as a reminder to the public and legislators of the courage and sacrifices of the four million-plus living disabled veterans and all those who died before them, as well as the need to be vigilant in assuring their support and understanding the human cost of war. Through her advocacy, October 5 every year will serve as a National Day of Honor for disabled veterans.
A mother and a grandmother, Lois has trained for and completed five New York City Marathons.
About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned by Hallmark Cards, Inc., is Crown Media Family Networks’ flagship 24-hour cable television network, distributed nationwide in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to 80 million homes. As the country’s leading destination for quality family entertainment, Hallmark Channel delivers on the 100-year legacy of the Hallmark brand. In addition to its signature new, original movies, the network features an ambitious lineup of other new, original content, including scripted primetime series, such as “Good Witch,” “When Calls the Heart” and “Chesapeake Shores”; annual specials including “Kitten Bowl” and “Hero Dog Awards”; and a daily, two-hour lifestyle show, “Home & Family.” Additionally, Hallmark Channel is the exclusive home to world premiere presentations of the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise. Dedicated to helping viewers celebrate life’s special moments, Hallmark Channel also offers annual holiday programming franchises, including “Countdown to Christmas,” “Love Ever After,” “Summer Nights,” “Fall Harvest” and “Winterfest.” Rounding out the network’s diverse slate are some of television’s most beloved comedies and series, including “The Golden Girls” and “Frasier.”
For more information, please visit www.crownmediapress.com
To visit the network website, please visit www.hallmarkchannel.com