Dog News

AKC Humane Fund Seeks Canine Heroes for 12th Annual Awards for Canine Excellence


Life With Dogs is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.


Heroes, like dogs, come in all shapes and sizes. Since 2000, thousands of dog lovers have nominated special canines for the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE).

ACE nominees range from skilled assistance dogs and law enforcement K-9s that keep U.S. citizens safe to Search & Rescue dogs who have aided in recovery missions. Equally important are the Therapy dogs who provided much needed comfort in the wake of tragic national events such as the attacks on 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina as well as the companions who aspire to be champion leg warmers at the foot of their owner’s bed at night.

“Over the past eleven years, the AKC has had the honor of recognizing some truly outstanding dogs through ACE,” said Ronald Rella, Director of Project Administration. “We encourage anyone that owns or knows of a heroic dog to submit a nomination as a way to pay tribute to the canines that devote their lives to making ours better.”

Each year, five dogs that have performed an exemplary act or series of acts that have significantly benefited a community or individual, whether large or seemingly small, are selected for an ACE. One award is given in the following five categories: Companion, Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Therapy, and Service. Honorable Mentions are awarded to outstanding entries in each category.

In addition to the prestige of being chosen from hundreds of entries, each of the five honorees receives a cash award of $1,000, an engraved sterling silver medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip for dog and owner to Orlando, Fla., to be honored at the eleventh annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in December 2011. The engraved names of the five recipients will also be added to the ACE plaque that is on permanent display in the AKC’s Library in New York City. Dogs receiving honorable mention will be awarded an engraved bronze medallion. All entrants will receive an ACE Certificate of Recognition in acknowledgement of their nomination.

Anyone, including the dog’s owner or handler, may submit a nomination. Submissions for the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence for 2011 must include:

  • A non-returnable, original photograph of the dog. Hi-resolution electronic photos provided on a disc are permissible, but not scans. (electronic requirements: 300dpi and at least 5×7 inches or, 72dpi at least 20×30 inches)
  • A 500-word-or-less description of how the dog has demonstrated excellence.
  • Dog’s call name, registered name if applicable, breed, age and sex.
  • Owner/Nominator name(s), address, phone number. E-mail address if available.

*Please note that to be considered, dogs are not required to be AKC registered but must be an AKC recognized breed.

Nominations will be accepted until June 1, 2011 and should be sent to:

Ronald N. Rella: ACE Awards 2011
The AKC Humane Fund
260 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, New York 10016

For more information about the ACE awards or to download a nomination form visit

Life With Dogs post end paw print