Tune in to the Hallmark Channel on October 28 (check local listings for times) for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards™. To learn more about this wonderful program celebrating the wonderful dogs in our lives, please read the press announcement below:
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 24, 2016 – Political analysts have been anticipating a dramatic “October Surprise,” and now, in the most closely watched campaign in the nation, that surprise is about to be unveiled. On October 28, the results of nearly a million public votes and the deliberations of an expert celebrity panel will be broadcast nationwide to the American people, revealing the winner of the 2016 American Humane Hero Dog Awards™, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and airing as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel at 8 pm ET/PT, 7 pm CT. The program will air as part of Hallmark Channel’s Pet Project, the network’s cross-platform advocacy campaign designed to celebrate the joy and enrichment animals bring to our lives.
“The American Humane Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the most extraordinary heroes the world has ever known, the very best of our best friends,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the first to serve the interests of animals in virtually every area. “These courageous canines have gone above and beyond the call of duty, saving lives on the battlefield, comforting the ill, aged and afflicted, bringing hope to those who have lost it, and reminding us of the powerful, age-old bond between animals and people.”
“It is an honor to support an effort to recognize the valor of our ‘best friends,’” said philanthropist Lois Pope, who has been the awards’ presenting sponsor for five years. “From those who defend our country to those who help us heal, guide us, protect us, and help find the lost, every single contender exemplifies the courage and heroism we seek to spotlight in the Hero Dog Awards campaign. Through this national forum we help educate America about the lifesaving, life-affirming work of our nation’s canine heroes.”
Eight courageous canines who each took top honors in their individual categories from a field of 173 initial nominees will appear and be profiled for their heroic exploits in improving and saving lives. Then the top American Hero Dog for 2016 will named, capping the star-studded awards gala hosted by Beth Stern and James Denton at the Beverly Hilton and featuring special performances by Katharine McPhee.
Each of the eight finalists win $2,500 for their designated charity partner and the winning 2016 American Hero Dog’s charity partner receives an additional $5,000 for a grand total of $7,500. Each charity partner is dedicated to celebrating and strengthening the roles of dogs in our lives, and like American Humane, focuses on the importance of the human-animal bond.
Over the past four years, millions of votes have been cast for nearly a thousand 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. This year, celebrity stars and awards presenters include Pauley Perrette, Alison Sweeney, Barbara Niven, Mark Steines, Bailee Madison, Marilu Henner, Victoria Stilwell, Debbie Matenopoulous, Greg Louganis, Adam Rodriguez, Alex Meneses, Brandon McMillan, Robert Herjavec, Kym Johnson, Jack Wagner, Dave Foley, and Dr. Marty Becker. Mary Matalin and James Carville, as well as Hero Dog Awards spokes-dog Happy the Dog provided delightful pre-taped video skits. Judges include Victoria Stilwell, Jennifer Arnold, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Prince Lorenzo Borghese, Philippe and Ashlan Gorse Cousteau, Joanne Horowitz, Blake Koch, Bailee Madison, Adrienne Maloof, Agent Jerry Means, Laura Nativo, Shara Strand, Lisa Vanderpump, and Lou Wegner.
Heroes Who Save and Keep Our Hero Pets Healthy Also Honored
Behind every hero pet is a hero vet or vet tech. Each year at the Hero Dog Awards, American Humane also announces the winners of its Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards™, sponsored by the leading animal health company Zoetis.
“Our 293 nominated Hero Veterinarians and Hero Veterinary Technicians are all outstanding examples of the veterinary community,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, DABVP, group director, Companion Animal Marketing at Zoetis. “The American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Veterinary Technician Awards are Zoetis’ way of giving back to the heroes who keep our best friends healthy, and also celebrate the human-animal bond.”
“To us, all vets and vet techs are heroes,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “Behind every hero dog is a hero vet and vet tech, so what better time to honor these extraordinary veterinary professionals than the night in which we celebrate America’s bravest heroes on both ends of the leash, the 2016 American Humane Dog Awards?!”
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