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.
HALLMARK CHANNEL HONORS OUR REMARKABLE FOUR-LEGGED FRIENDS WITH
“AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION HERO DOG AWARDS”,
PREMIERING ON VETERAN’S DAY, 11-11-11 AT 8:00pm ET/PT,
HOSTED BY CARSON KRESSLEY
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
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.