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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 1, 2017 – Mankind’s best friend has been protecting us, comforting us, and giving us unconditional love for thousands of years…but you have only one week left to reward your canine companion by nominating ‘em for the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards®. Sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and broadcast in the fall as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel, the Hero Dog Awards will close its nominations phase on March 8 at 12 pm Pacific Time.

The annual, year-long campaign seeks to identify and honor America’s bravest heroes on both ends of the leash. Dog owners across the country are invited to visit www.herodogawards.org and nominate their heroic hound in one of eight categories. The top dog in each category will be flown to Los Angeles and celebrated at the September 16th star-studded, red-carpet awards gala hosted by Beth Stern and James Denton 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 eight categories for 2017 are: Law Enforcement Dogs, sponsored by the K-9 Courage Program™ from Zoetis; Military Dogs, sponsored by the K-9 Courage Program from Zoetis and the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation; Therapy Dogs; Service Dogs Emerging Hero Dogs, a category that pays tribute to ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things,  Arson Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; and Guide/Hearing Dogs. Following the nominations period, two dozen semifinalists (the top three in each category) will be chosen in a first round of voting by celebrity judges and the public. The second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity voting, will narrow the field to eight category finalists who will then vie for the title of 2017 American Hero Dog.

Over the past six years, Americans have cast millions of votes for more than 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. Hosts, judges, award presenters, and entertainment acts have included Katharine McPhee, Alison Sweeney, Victoria Stilwell, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Joey Lawrence, Lisa Vanderpump, Mickey Rooney, Burt Reynolds, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, John Ondrasik, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristen Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Lori Loughlin, Lea Thompson, Eric Stonestreet, Fred Willard, Danica McKellar, Bailee Madison, and many, many more.

Winners in each category will earn $2,500 for a designated charity partner and the overall winner’s charity partner will win an additional $5,000. Each charity partner is dedicated to celebrating the role of working dogs in our lives, and like American Humane, celebrates the importance of the human-animal bond.

“Every year, hundreds of dogs vie for the coveted title of ‘American Hero Dog’ at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane’s president and CEO. “Dogs do so many extraordinary things to improve and even save our lives, and this contest 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 Mrs. Pope. “We need to recognize their extraordinary achievements and heroism, and I am pleased to serve once again for the sixth 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 Pet Project,” said Bill Abbott, the President and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks. “The Pet Project 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 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards contest include:

  • Nominations: January 25 – March 8
  • 1st Round Voting: March 29 – May 3
  • 2nd Round Voting: May 17 – June 28
  • 3rd Round Voting: July 12 – August 30
  • American Humane Hero Dog Awards event in Los Angeles – September 16


Nominations for 2017 Hero Vet and Hero Vet Tech Awards Also Open Now

And because behind every hero pet there is a hero veterinarian or veterinary technician, the Hero Dog Awards once again will feature a second campaign – the American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards™, sponsored by Zoetis. Until noon Pacific Time on April 6, pet owners and animal lovers across America will be invited to nominate their favorite animal caretakers in these two fields, with each to be honored at the Hero Dog Awards event on September 16.  

More information about the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, including complete contest rules and entry information, can be obtained by visiting www.herodogawards.org. For more information about the 2017 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards, please visit www.herovetawards.org. More information on sponsorship opportunities can be had by emailing Mari Harner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or by calling 1-800-227-4645.



National Champion Beats Dogs from 49 States and Hundreds of International Competitors

Orlando, FL (Dec. 18, 2016) – GCHB CH Cordmaker Mister Blue Sky, a Puli known as “Preston” triumphed over nearly 5,000 dogs to earn a $50,000 cash prize and the title of Best in Show at the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, held this weekend in Orlando, Fla. “Prestion,” owned by E. Charles & J. Beaudoin & L. Pitts & P. Kelly & S. Huebner of Raleigh, NC, was crowned “National Champion” by Best in Show judge Dr. Anthony DiNardo after a weekend of intense canine competition.

Combined with other weekend events including the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC Obedience Classic, and the Junior events, the overall show totals topped 7,000 entries, making this the largest dog event held in the United States since the AKC 1984 Centennial event and the largest dog show North America.

The AKC National Championship evening live stream is available for replay at www.akc.org, alongside on-demand coverage of the Bred-By Exhibitor groups, Junior Showmanship Finals, Best Miscellaneous, Agility and Obedience competitions. The show will be televised on the Hallmark Channel on January 23, 2017 6-9 PM ET/PT.

The winners:

Reserve Best in Show and Group Winners


Reserve Best in Show:GCHP CH Belle Creek’s All I Care About Is Love, a Bichon Frise known as “Flynn,” owned by Patrina Odette & L. VanKeur & L. Carlton & L. Letsche of Plymouth, MI.


After winning Best of Breed competitions the following top dogs went on to win in their respective groups and compete for Best in Show:


Sporting: GCHS CH Clussexx Man Of Steel,a Clumber Spaniel known as “Angus,” owned by Clussexx Reg J Hubbard W & K Holbrook B Dowd of Bloomington, IN.


Hound: GCHP CH Sporting Fields Shameless,a Whippet known as “Brazen,” owned by Barbara Call, J. Cooney-Waterhouse, D. Butt and A. Giles of Wilmot, MN.

Working: GCHP CH Mephisto's Speak Of The Devil,a Boxer known as “Devlin,” owned by Mrs. Jack Billhardt & Sergio Tenenbaum of Canaan, CT.


Terrier: GCHS CH Taliesin Twice As Nice,a Norwich Terrier known as “Tanner,” owned by Lisa Sons & Jeff and Kim Sime of Homer Glen, IL.


Toy: GCHS CH Somerset Wynzall Hashtag,a Brussels Griffon known as “Newton,” owned by Keith Jacobson and Jo Ann Noffsinger of Seattle, WA.


Non-Sporting: GCHP CH Belle Creek’s All I Care About Is Love,a Bichon Frise known as “Flynn,” owned by Patrina Odette & L. VanKeur & L. Carlton & L. Letsche of Plymouth, MI.


Herding:GCHB CH Cordmaker Mister Blue Sky,a Puli known as “Preston,” owned by E. Charles & J. Beaudoin & L. Pitts & P. Kelly & S. Huebner of Raleigh, NC.

Other top dogs awarded during the two-day event included the following:


Best Bred-By-Exhibitor in Show

GCHG CH Hillwood Dassin Ouspenskaya,a Poodle known as “Maria,” owned by Ellen M. Charles & Joseph Vergnetti of Washington D.C. was awarded Best Bred-By-Exhibitor in Show.

AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals Best in Show

GCH CH Love That Jimmy Fallon CM,a Miniature American Shepherd known as “Jimmy,” owned by Jeanie Troyan McAdams & Dr. Douglas McAdams won the AKC National Owner-Handled Series (NOHS) Finals Best in Show, prevailing over an invitation-only entry of 711 dogs.

Best in Miscellaneous Group

Sidekick's Amour De Bonami CM4,a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen known as “Ace,” owned by Brent Humphrey & Corey Benedict of Howey-in-the-Hills, FL, won the Miscellaneous Breeds competition.

Junior Showmanship

In the Junior Showmanship competition, for handlers from between 9 to 18 years of age, Lauren Marie Hull with her Great Pyrenees CH Patorama's Lay Down The Boogie was awarded the coveted title of Best Junior Handler, along with a $2,000 scholarship.


Agility and Obedience Competitions

The 2016 AKC Obedience Classic and the AKC Agility Invitational were held in conjunction with the AKC National Championship. The two events demonstrate the highest level of training and teamwork between dog and handler. Obedience and agility competitions for junior handlers were held for the sixth year, and an AKC Rally® Junior competition was held for the third year.





AKC Obedience Classic

Four obedience dogs and their owners – one dog/handler team in each of the four classes – were crowned at the AKC Obedience Classic, which brought together 248 dogs from across the country and beyond.  

Placing first in their class (Novice, Open, Utility and Masters respectively) were:

  • Novice: Powderhorn Brodie & Stand Back CD PCD BN JH,a Golden Retriever known as “Brodie,” owned by Barb and Bob Mina of Campobello, SC.
  • Open: Augustus Treasured Serenity CDX BN RA NA,a Labrador Retriever known as “Grant,” owned by Mary Ann Flanagan of Glen Gardner, NJ.
  • Utility: Henry Head Over Heels UD PCDX BN GN RE THDA CGC,an All American Dog known as “Henry,” owned by Kathryn Harvey of Apple Valley, MN.
  • Masters: OTCH Rhumbline's Once In A Blue Moon UDX2 OM3 BN GN RE,a Labrador Retriever known as “Heart,” owned by Linda Brennan of Columbia, NJ.
    • Beginner Novice: Emily Wagoner, Maximum Force, All American Dog
    • Preferred Novice: Brittaney Allen, Allen's Ollie CD BN RN CGC, All American Dog
    • Preferred Open: Emily Wagoner, Clarimond's Because I'M the Boss CDX BN RE CGCA, Belgian Tervuren
  • 8” – MACH5 Brokenroad Code Name Tank MXB2 MJB2 MXF MFB TQX T2B RN (Tank),a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno owned and handled by Charlene Wiglesworth of Kalamazoo, MI.
  • 12” – MACH12 Keebler's Elfin' Magic MXS4 MJS4 (Keebler),a Pembroke Welsh Corgi owned and handled by Roger O'Sullivan of Gahana, OH.
  • 16” – Dora Doo Winslow AX AXJ OF (Dora),a Shetland Sheepdog owned and handled by Patricia Toro Sarraga of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • 20” – MACH5 Marjo's Demon In The Ruff MXS2 MJG2 MXP2 MJP3 MJPB MXF MFS TQX T2B2 a Brittany owned and handled by Janice Brunner of Wellsville, PA.
  • 24” – MACH7 Gliding High Du Volant MXC2 MJC2 MXF MFB TQX T2B (Glider),a Belgian Sheepdog owned and handled by Nici Parker of Santa Rosa Valley, CA.
  • 8”- Kayangee Dorothy Parker MX MXJ (Dot),a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel handled by Anthony Rotelle
  • 12”- Karmayne Playin With Matches MX MXJ (Fire),a Shetland Sheepdog handled by Natalie Spinsby
  • 16”- Julian's Razor Lazzer MX MXB MXJ OF (Lazer),a Border Collie handled by Destiny Julian
  • 20”- MACH Rival's Stitch In Time HIBS, HIAS, CD (Stitch),a Border Collie handled by Kai Macauley
  • 24”- MACH Smokingold Vibrant Spark MX MXJ UD RE (Vibrant),a Golden Retriever handled by Avery Adams
  • 12”- Rhapsody Enchanting Dart To The Finish Line (Dart),a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel handled by Aaliyah Watkins
  • 16”- Martin's Lola II (Lola),an All American Dog handled by Tasha Martin
  • 24”- Hunter Of The Meadow BN RN CGC (Hunter),a Labrador Retriever handled by Hayley Milliron
  • Open Class Elite Division: Prospect, a Mixed breed owned by Shannon Taaffe (Score: 28'9")
  • Open Class Master Division: Marsoc, a Belgian Malinois owned by Kathryn Schreiner (Score: 25'6")
  • Open Class Senior Division: Fix, a Australian Shepherd owned by Jen Bunker (Score: 23')
  • Open Class Junior Division: Olivia, an Old English Sheepdog owned by Stephanie Getter (Score: 17' 0)
  • Open Class Novice Division: Daisy, a Golden Retriever owned by Sheila Cook (Score: 15' 2)
  • Veteran Class Elite Division: Vhoebe, a Belgian Malinois owned by Lise Ann Strum (Score: 23'6")
  • Veteran Class Master Division: Cody, a Mixed breed owned by Mindy Len(Score: 21')
  • Veteran Class Senior Division: Wilson, a Labrador Retriever owned by Martha Veatch (Score: 20'9")
  • Veteran Class Junior Division: Jake, a Belgian Malinois owned by Doran Lawrence (Score: 15'9")
  • Veteran Class Novice Division: Sophia, a Boxer owned by Mindy Len (Score: 12')
  • Lap Class Elite Division: Gerry, a Jagdterrier owned by Christopher Skinner-Bland (Score: 22'5")
  • Lap Class Master Division: Keira, a English Cocker Spaniel owned by Shana Porter (Score: 17'6")
  • Lap Class Senior Division: Kali, a Jagdterrier owned by William Burns (Score: 12'9")
  • Lap Class Junior Division: Beatrice, a Border Terrier owned by Jessica Reddmann (Score: 10'7)
  • Lap Class Novice Division: Raz, a Pomeranian owned by Katy Chadwick (Score: 5'2")
  • Air Retrieve Open Class Elite Division: Reese, a German Shorthaired Pointer owned by Tammy Strassenberg (Score: 22')
  • Air Retrieve Open Class Master Division: Storie, a Labrador Retriever owned by Ronalee McKnight (Score: 21')
  • Air Retrieve Open Class Senior Division: Sora, a Dutch Shepherd owned by Chad Taylor (Score: 19')
  • Air Retrieve Lap Class: Gerry, a Jagdterrier owned by Christopher Skinner-Bland (Score: 15')
  • Junior (under 17 yrs old) Handler: Duke, a Belgian Malinois owned by Zak Filler (Score: 25')

AKC Juniors Obedience/Rally Classic

Juniors who participated in the AKC Juniors Classic competed in Obedience and/or AKC Rally®

In Obedience, Juniors competed in the Beginner Novice, Preferred Novice and Preferred Open classes twice, based on their AKC obedience accomplishments.

Placing first in their class were:


In AKC Rally®, Juniors competed in Rally Novice, Rally Advanced or Rally Excellent, based on the dog’s class eligibility (qualifying scores and/or titles earned). 

Placing first in their class were:


  • Rally Novice: Breanna Durham, Nike D The Perfect Fit For Me CDX PCD GN RN, Australian Shepherd
  • Rally Advanced: Avery Adams, Wyndspell Fireworks CD AX AXJ, Border Collie
  • Rally Excellent: Kaitlyn Scripko, Hidden Valley Black Ty Affair UDX OM2 RE HT MX MXB MXJ MJB MXF T2B, Border Collie

AKC Agility Invitational

Five agility dogs and their owners – one dog/handler team in each of the five height categories – were crowned as the 2016 winners of the AKC Agility Invitational, which brought together 700 dogs from across the country and beyond.

Placing first in their height division (8", 12", 16", 20" and 24" respectively) were:

AKC Juniors Agility Competition

Juniors who participated in the AKC Juniors Agility Competition competed in either the Junior Excellent or Superior Classes, depending on whether they had achieved an agility title.

Placing first in their height division (8", 12", 16", 20" and 24" respectively) in the Junior Excellent class were:

Placing first in their height division (12”, 16" and 24" respectively) in the Junior Superior class were:

North America Diving Dogs/AKC National Championship.

A record entry of more than 700 dogs entered the NADD/AKC National Championship.

The Championship winners include:


AKC Breeder of the Year

Alan Kalter and Dr. Chris Lezotte were presented with the 2016 AKC Breeder of the Year Award for their HappyLegs Bullmastiffs at the AKC National Championship on Saturday, December 17, 2016. The annual award honors breeders who have made an impact on their breed and dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament and quality of purebred dogs.


AKC Meet the Breeds®
The Rhodesian Ridgeback booth wonAKC Meet the Breeds® Best Booth in Show.

Click here to download images and video from the AKC National Championship.

# # #


Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.  Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog.  For more information, visit www.akc.org.

AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

Become a fan of the American Kennel Club on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @AKCDogLovers.





Part of Hallmark Channel’s PET PROJECT Initiative to Help Homeless Pets Find Their Forever Home; Joyce DeWitt and Teryl Rothery Co-Star

Must love dogs! Erika Christensen (“Parenthood”) adopts a trio of canine companions while looking for love when she stars in “My Boyfriends’ Dogs” a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere Saturday, October 18 at 9pm ET/PT, 8C, part of PET PROJECT, the network’s evergreen initiative to help homeless animals find their forever home. The film stars Christensen as an unlucky-in-love woman who has only been able to find the loyal companionship in the unconditional love of her ex-boyfriend’s pups.  “My Boyfriends’ Dogs” is based on the popular fiction novel of the same name, written by Dandi Daley Mackall.  Joyce DeWitt (“Three’s Company”), Teryl Rothery (“Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove”), Emily Holmes (“Snakes on a Plane”), Jeremy Guilbaut (“The L.A. Complex”), Tyron Leitso (“Being Erica”) and Jesse Hutch (“Arrow”) co-star.

We are proud to adapt and bring to the screen ‘My Boyfriends’ Dogs,’ a delightful tale that our viewers will certainly love,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. “The very gifted and talented Erika Christensen will grace Hallmark Channel viewers with her humor, wit and charm and we are honored to work with one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young stars.”

Bailey Daley (Christensen) is a hapless young bride who has run away from the altar with not one, but three dogs she adopted from past relationships. Running into a small diner one rainy evening in a soaked wedding dress with her dogs at her feet, Bailey launches into the story of her strange predicament to the restaurant owners, Louie (Michael Kopsa, “Fringe”) and Nikki (DeWitt).  She explains that she hasn’t been able to find the right love, always longing for the more loyal, stable companionship she finds in her ex-boyfriends’ canine companions.  Against the knowing advice of her mother Dina (Rothery) and best friend Amber (Holmes), Bailey tries to transform herself into the perfect fit for each new guy she meets—athletic Wade (Hutch), moody Jonathan (Oliver Rice, “On Hollowtree Farm”), and, finally, wealthy Eric (Guilbaut).  As each relationship ends, Bailey adopts her ex’s dogs, but remains hopelessly single.  Until, a twist of fate that stormy night leads her to realize that true puppy love happens only after one stops searching for it.

My Boyfriends’ Dogs” is a Boyfriend’s Dogs Films Inc. production.  Executive Producers are Howard Braunstein, Marcy Gross and Ann Weston. Christian Bruyere is the producer. Terry Ingram directed from a teleplay by Gary Goldstein and Jon Maas. Based on the novel My Boyfriends’ Dogs by Dandi Daley Mackall.



Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality family entertainment available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 86 million subscribers. Hallmark Channel is the nation’s leading destination for quality family programming featuring an ambitious slate of original content, including movies; scripted series, such as Cedar Cove, When Calls the Heart, and Signed, Sealed, Delivered; annual specials like Hero Dog Awards and Kitten Bowl; and a daily 2-hour lifestyle show, Home & Family. Hallmark Channel is also home to annual holiday franchise, Countdown to Christmas, featuring a lineup of 24/7 holiday programming, including The 12 New Movies of Christmas. Rounding out the networks’ lineup are television’s most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, The Middle, Little House on the Prairie, and Frasier. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, available in HD and SD, features a unique mix of content including original movies and acquired series that are dramatic in tone and focus on the lighter side of the mystery genre, as well as classic presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library.

Hallmark Channel on Social Media: Facebook, Twitter (Join the conversation at #HeartofTV), Pinterest, tvtag, YouTube



FRIDAY, April 12 (1 PM ET/PT, 12C).

This Friday on “Who Let The Dogs Out,” the team heads to Memphis to visit the former home of Elvis Presley at Graceland Mansion. Tillman is ready to skate outside the gates of Graceland in his Elvis costume, while the rest of the Natural Balance team take a tour throughout the home. Next, John Fulton writes a song dedicated to Tillman and the team records their own hit at Sun Records, the same place where Elvis recorded some of his greatest hits. Then, Tillman is invited to iconic restaurant, Loveless Café in Nashville for a photo shoot to be featured on Nashville Paw Magazine. While in Nashville, the gang gets the unforgettable opportunity to take a tour of the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest running radio show featuring country music. John Fulton and Tillman take the stage at the Grand Ole Opry for their singing debut. Later, the gang heads to the entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood. Tillman and “The Scooter Dog” Norman walk down the red carpet alongside their friends Uggie from “The Artist,” Cosmo from “Beginners” and Blackie from “Hugo” at Dog News Daily’s 1st Annual Golden Collar Awards for pets in cinema and television. Lastly, the Natural Balance team goes to Universal Studios Hollywood for the finale in the search for “America’s Most Talented Dog” to join the Natural Balance team.

Tillman “The Fastest Skateboarding Dog” along with his friend Norman “The Scooter Dog,” star in the hit show, “Who Let The Dogs Out” presented by Petco and Natural Balance Pet Foods. The show airs weekly on Fridays at 1pm/12pm Central on Hallmark Channel.

Joey Herrick, Dr. Greg Kay and Erni Di Massa are executive producers, John Tomlin is co-executive producer and Eric Wong is senior producer of “Who Let The Dogs Out.”

“Who Let The Dogs Out” is broadcast in 1080i, Hallmark Channel’s selected HD Format. This program carries a TV-G parental guideline.

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90-Minute Star-Studded Special Highlights the Many Ways Dogs
Enrich, Prolong, and Save Lives Everyday
Troops Overseas will Have Opportunity to Watch the Broadcast Via Armed Forces Network


Studio City, California – November 3, 2011 – Hallmark Channel is proud to present the inaugural “American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™”, a moving celebration of our four-legged friends and the innumerable contributions they make on our behalf.  Presented by CESAR® Canine Cuisine and produced by Emmy® Award winning MRB Productions, the Hero Dog Awards will premiere on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2011 at 8:00pm ET/PT.  In salute of Veteran’s Day and honoring our many enlisted servicemen, women, and dogs overseas, the Hero Dog Awards will be broadcast for our troops worldwide through Armed Forces Network, following its debut on Hallmark Channel.  A digital screener (for review purposes only) of the entire broadcast can be found at the following hyperlink: HeroDogAwardsScreener (User ID: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Password: Herodog1)

Hosted by Emmy® Award-winning Carson Kressley and taped before a live audience in the Beverly Hilton’s historical International Ballroom on October 1, the Hero Dog Awards pays tribute to eight remarkable dogs and their handlers — each partnership a powerful testament to the age-old bond between dogs and people.

Following a nationwide online search that elicited some 400,000 votes, each dog was selected among hundreds of nominees from all 50 states in one of eight categories: Law Enforcement and Arson Dogs; Service Dogs; Therapy Dogs; Military Dogs; Guide Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; Hearing Dogs, and finally, Emerging Hero Dogs a category that highlights ordinary pets who do extraordinary things.  The finalists and their handlers were flown to Los Angeles to walk the red carpet, mingle with celebrities, and take the stage to accept their special “Hero Dog” award, following a presentation of a special video tribute telling each of their incredible stories.  At the end of the evening, one dog was named the overall “American Hero Dog.”

            Celebrity judges and presenters on hand for the festivities included Betty White, Peter Fonda, Faith Ford, Pauley Perrette, Michael Vartan, Jason Lewis, Candy Spelling, Victoria Stillwell, Joey Lawrence, among many others. 

For more on each of the eight dogs and their inspirational stories go to:  www.herodogawards.org

 About Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 87 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through approximately 5,492 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading network in quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies, lifestyle and general entertainment content, and is the home of "The Martha Stewart Show", which anchors the channel's daytime original programming block. Hallmark Channel's sibling network is Hallmark Movie Channel, also available in HD and SD, which focuses on the family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events. 

About American Humane Association
Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.


About MRB Productions

MRB is an Emmy-winning production company specializing in producing content across all media platforms.  MRB's recent projects include the acclaimed web series The Confession, staring Kiefer Sutherland, which acquired paramount success, leading to a feature deal with Image Entertainment.  MRB's feature department is currently in post-production on a Stephen Gyllenhaal film Grassroots, slated to premiere later this year.  On the television side, MRB produces the pre-taped segments, coordinates talent logistics and the VIP program for the past decade for ESPN’s ESPY Awards.  Most recently, MRB garnered two Emmy nominations for the 2010 NBA Draft Opening Sequence.  Additional TV projects include two seasons of the mockumentary comedy show Free Radio on VH1 and Comedy Central.  MRB’s commercial repertoire includes collaborations with Leo Burnett, Periera O'Dell, Team Detroit, Goodby, Silverstein and Partners for clients such as Geico, Kellogg's, Ford, Sprint, Mattel, Corona, Miller Lite, Smirnoff, Sony, NBC, Wal-Mart, Hyundai and University of Phoenix.



Hallmark Channel
US Cable Television Premiere
From the Hallmark Hall of Fame Collection
Sunday, November 20 (6 p.m. ET/PT, 5C) 

The ever-versatile Bruce Greenwood (“John From Cincinnati,” “Knots Landing”) stars in this heartwarming Hallmark Hall of Fame story about coming to terms with the past and the ways that Christmas can help to bring a family together.  Greenwood is George McCray, who lives on a Kansas farm with wife Mary Ann (Linda Emond, “Julie and Julia”) and their 20-year-old, developmentally-challenged son, Todd (Noel Fisher from “The Riches”).  It happens that a local animal shelter is looking for families to foster pets for the holidays, and Todd wants one desperately.  But George is dead-set against it, maintaining that his son won't be able to adequately care for a pet and that giving a dog back after Christmas will only traumatize him.  But we learn that the real reason why George opposes it has more to do with his own bad experiences with dogs in the past -- once while he was a kid, the other time when he was serving in Vietnam.  So it's really George with the issues surrounding canines.  And as his wife comes to realize, the one who really needs a dog this Christmas is her husband, not her son, in order for emotional wounds of the past to heal.  “A Dog Named Christmas” is the best kind of holiday tale, one that poignantly illustrates the unwavering resilience of the human spirit.