Displaying items by tag: therapy dogs

Seven, the Official Puppy Party Candidate, Announces His Bid For

President of the United States at Rescuecon

Former Show Dog Determined To "Bring America Together Again"

Oxnard, CA - February 13, 2019 - RESCUECON will open on February 23, 2019 at 10:00 AM with a press conference to announce the candidacy of a remarkable dog, Seven, who is running for President of the United States. RESCUECON, a convention like no other celebrating the human-animal bond, takes place February 23rd to the 24th from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

"I'm running for president because I believe a dog with a face like mine can bring humans together," explains the Australian Shepherd. "Humans can learn a lot from their dogs and now is the time for dogs across the country to teach the art of unconditional love and respect."

Seven is a four-year-old former show dog who was adopted by Oxnard resident Susan Hartzler. Since moving in with Susan, Seven has become a professional actor and model as well as a Therapy Dog through Therapy Dogs International. He is the official Therapy Dog for Oxnard High Schools where he brings his special kind of puppy love to kids every month. He is offering his services as a Therapy Dog to both Democrats and Republicans in his bid to "Bring America Together Again."

His platform is a home for every dog and a bone for every dog. With that goal in mind, Seven has created a line of t-shirts and other political paraphernalia that will be unveiled at the convention. A percentage of all proceeds will go to help rescue dogs find forever homes. To support the canine candidate and dog rescue, visit www.LuvMy.dog. To find out more about the candidate, visit his Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seven_for_president/.

RESCUECON sets out to promote the welfare of all animals (wildlife and farm animals too!), create a culturally-enriching environment, and provide interactive opportunities for learning, making, connecting, and relaxing. Besides Seven's Press Conference, there will also be bunny yoga, cat cafes, speaker panels, makerspaces and exhibitions. There is something for everyone at RESCUECON. Keynote speakers include Kitten Lady (Hannah Shaw) and Ellie Laks, co-founder of the Gentle Barn. The goal of event is to rally animal lovers in the region and, in turn, strengthen the local rescue landscape.

The PACC is committed to making its events accessible. In addition to Seven's Press Conference, there will be a free Adoption Fair with adoptable animals from Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS), the Bunny Brigade, Surfcat Rescue, C.A.R.L., and other rescue groups. The Fair will also feature community resources and nonprofits, a $10 spay and neuter clinic provided by Simi Valley Spay & Neuter Clinic, arts and crafts, and activities for families, such as the cat cafe presented by SurfCat Rescue and the Crazy Cat Lady Exhibition.

A percentage of ticket sales benefits VCAS, this year's featured nonprofit partner.

RESCUECON

February 23 - 24, 2019 | 11AM - 5PM

CONVENTION: General Admission $25/day | $40/weekend

ADOPTION FAIR: Free

800 Hobson Way, Oxnard, CA 93030 | (805) 486-2424 | oxnardperformingarts.com | rescuecon.org

Tickets are available at the box office between 12-6pm, Monday thru Saturday, by calling (805) 486-2424 or by purchase online, oxnardperformingarts.com.

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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 DOG SHOW THERAPY DOG AMBASSADOR TEAM ADDS FOUR NEW MEMBERS FOR 2016

Philadelphia, PA— The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s Therapy Dog Ambassador Team will add four new members in 2016, with Aladdin, Butler, Xena and Willow joining the five returnees from last year.

This seven-year tradition now brings together a dynamic team of nine canines, who make regular visits to hospitals and healthcare facilities, including the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, where they help to comfort patients and their families. The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Shows involve the canine stars as members of its Therapy Dog Ambassador Team to promote the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House and the annual dog shows hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia each November.

The 2016 National Dog Show Therapy Dog Ambassador Team includes:

v  Lil’ Abner, age 6, and Stella, age 8, are Dogues de Bordeux who together create a memorable 280-pound experience whenever they walk into a room. Lil’Abner won a blue Ribbon in the novice Dogue de Bordeaux class at the 2011 National Dog Show. Abner and Stella are owned by Steven & Donna Kramer of Langhorne, and Steven is a certified evaluator for Therapy Dog International.

v  Waylon, age 11, is a Belgian Sheepdog and son of the late, former Therapy Dog Ambassador, Eli. He is a retired show dog and visits each summer at the Ronald McDonald Camp in the Poconos. He is owned and handled by Sherry Hanley of Allentown, a retired Lehigh County deputy sheriff.

v  Vivian, age 6, is a Staffordshire Terrier mix who was named the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union’s Neighborhood Hero for 2014. She spent time with the New Leash on Life USA program, being socialized by incarcerated individuals before their release back into society. Vivian is owned and handled by Michele Pich, a grief counselor at the University of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine, who has been directing the VetPets Animal-Assisted Activities program at the Ronald McDonald House since 2010.

v  Benny, age 2, is a 57- pound English Bulldog who regularly visits the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House as well as St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Along with Abner and Stella, Benny is owned by Steven & Donna Kramer.

v  Aladdin, age 5, has been recognized by American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards and was a finalist in the Hero Dog of the Year in the Therapy Dog category. He is the ambassador for nationwide animal abuse campaign Show Your Soft Side. Aladdin is owned by Michele Shaffer-Stevens, who is chairperson of the National Dog Show Gala organizing committee.

v  Xena, age 3, Shih Tzu – Yorkie mix and Willow, age 2, rescued Shih Tzu – Poodle mix. They visit the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House on a weekly basis and are also active members of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Pet Therapy program. They also make home visits to kids in hospice care. Xena and Willow are owned and handled by Emily Martin of Philadelphia, PA.

v  Butler, age 4, Shepherd mix, is a spokesdog for American Humane Association and the official therapy dog of The Weather Channel. Butler serves as a first responder for both organizations, providing comfort to children and families whose lives have been adversely affected by disaster. He was rescued from a shelter by owner and handler Dr. Amy McCullough, national director of Humane Research and Therapy for American Humane Association, the country’s first national humane organization.

The National Dog Show Therapy Dog Ambassador Team was founded by the late Rufus, the accomplished, Colored Bull Terrier who retired to a celebrated career as a therapy dog after winning the National Dog Show Presented by Purina in 2005 and following that up by triumphing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show three months later in New York City. Rufus was joined two years later by the late Eli, the Belgian Sheepdog who showed in Philadelphia before retiring to therapy work. Eli was one of the last few living therapy dogs who comforted victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

All nine dogs play a vital role in helping to make a difference in people’s lives. In addition to their weekly work at hospitals, nursing homes, and institutions, the Therapy Dog Ambassadors will be making therapy visits and media appearances in conjunction with National Dog Show activities in Philadelphia and New York City.

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After 27 years of exploring the wonder of man’s best friend with millions of dog-loving television viewers around the world as the broadcast co-host, David Frei said goodbye to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this past February with nary a tinge of sadness or regret.   

“The dog world is a big place,” Frei offers gleefully from his new home in Cannon Beach, Oregon. “Much bigger than when I started and growing still. And now I’m a part of guiding that growth for the good of the sport.  This is that rare moment in time when I truly have the best of both worlds.” 

One of those worlds is The National Dog Show Presented by Purina, the now 15 year-old NBC Thanksgiving Day special that has become appointment television for millions of families together for their traditional, November holiday celebration.  Another is Frei’s newest challenge, The Beverly Hills Dog Show presented by Purina, a newly-minted endeavor hosted by the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills, headed for USA Network television screens in 2017 – on Easter Sunday. 

Where he once had limitations about what he could and could not work on (Frei was also the fulltime Director of Communications for Westminster), he now has the freedom to survey the landscape, pick his spots and apply his decades of marketing, public relations and television knowledge to projects that embody his passion for pets. 

As the expert analyst of The National Dog Show, he is known as the voice of the dog show world, but he recently hosted a cat show on the Hallmark Channel, The Kitten Summer Games.  He is the executive in charge of the Beverly Hills project, able to marry his passion for the sport to its appeal to the masses through television.  His newly-liberated schedule includes advocacy work as America’s leader in the growing therapy dog movement, judging at dog shows across the United States and appearing regularly as a spokesperson for the sport, responsible pet ownership and the importance of the human-animal bond. 

“Anyone who spends time with dogs will tell you those are their best moments of the day,” Frei asserts.  “I’ve seen miracles in hospital rooms when an ill child encounters the love, innocence and energy of a trained therapy dog. I get to work with dogs.  I get to work with dog people.  And I get to do it in new and different ways while continuing in my role as an on-air commentator talking directly to the audiences.” 

Frei’s relationships in the dog world have been particularly useful as he develops this newest TV product with a celebrity component in America’s entertainment industry capital of Hollywood.  John O’Hurley, the popular Seinfeld and Dancing With The Stars personality and host of The National Dog Show, lives in Beverly Hills and is playing a role in recruiting celebrity dog lovers for the project.  Kennel Club of Beverly Hills officials are thrilled with the TV exposure on tap for their annual show and appreciate working with Frei, who speaks their language and understands the intricacies of producing the Best In Show competition among thousands of entrants encompassing more than 200 breeds and varieties. 

“My dogs have changed my life,” Frei says. “And they have changed the lives of a lot of other people, too -- formally as therapy dogs but also informally, ‘on the street,’ through their spontaneity and unconditional love for everyone. I want to inspire people to get their own dogs out there doing something for people in need.  

“The dogs are truly the stars in my world. And our shows on NBC and USA Network are truly a celebration of the dogs in our lives -- show dogs, therapy dogs, purebreds and mixed breeds. We should thank them every day for letting us be on the other end of their leashes.” 

“David Frei unplugged,” the subject mused.  “Okay. Unplugged. But with the electricity and excitement of our canine friends energizing me every day.” 

 

(Washington, D.C.) October 25, 2016 The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) announced today it has awarded a $44,000 grant to Duke University School of Medicine’s Division of Pediatric Cardiology for a new research study titled Impact of Animal Assisted Therapy on Quality, Completeness, and Patient and Parental Satisfaction in Children Undergoing Clinical Echocardiography.

This study will examine the influence of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) on young children undergoing an echocardiogram. It is hypothesized that children will have a more complete and higher quality echocardiogram in the presence of therapy dogs. In addition, parents are expected to report higher visit satisfaction scores and greater exam comfort for their children. 

“Echocardiography is an effective way to use ultrasound to ‘see’ inside the heart, and while taking the pictures is non-invasive, it can still be a scary procedure for young children,” said the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Piers C.A. Barker, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Duke University School of Medicine. “Typically, we must sedate children who have trouble holding still so that we can get adequate pictures. This study aims to evaluate whether animal-assisted therapy could serve as an effective alternative technique to comfort the children and put them at ease, potentially resulting in more complete echocardiograms, higher quality images, and avoidance of sedation drugs.”

“We know from previous scientific research that animal-assisted therapy is effective in alleviating anxiety in hospital patients,” said co-investigator, Margaret Gruen, DVM, PhD, DACVB of Duke. “This is one of the first studies to focus on the potential of animal-assisted therapy to impact a clinical outcome. If results are successful, this study could potentially add non-pharmacologic, low-cost options to improve diagnostic quality for children having medical imaging procedures and could encourage broader use of therapy dogs in other pediatric cardiology settings.” 

The two-and-a-half-year project is a collaboration between Duke’s Division of Pediatric Cardiology and the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The team has partnered with the Pets@Duke program, which certifies therapy dogs to interact with patients throughout Duke University Health System hospitals. 

The study will examine 150 children between the ages of 1 and 5 and randomly assign them to a group: canine-assisted therapy only; canine-assisted therapy plus standard distraction techniques; and standard distraction techniques only. Dr. Barker – along with co-investigators Bruce W. Keene, DVM, MSc, DACVIM of NC State, Michael J. Campbell, MD of Duke and Margaret Gruen, DVM, PhD, DACVB of Duke – will evaluate quality, completeness and parental satisfaction of echocardiograms among the three groups, as well as reduction of stress or fear among the children.

The HABRI Foundation maintains the world’s largest online library of human-animal bond research and information; funds innovative research projects to scientifically document the health benefits of companion animals; and informs the public about human-animal bond research and the beneficial role of companion animals in society. For more information about the HABRI Foundation, please visit www.habri.org.

 

EIGHT COURAGEOUS CANINES NAMED FINALISTS FOR

2016 AMERICAN HUMANE ASSOCIATION HERO DOG AWARDS®

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Public voting opens to choose year’s top American Hero Dog

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Presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, national campaign to culminate in red carpet awards gala and two-hour special on Hallmark Channel

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 6, 2016 – America has spoken and following more than half a million votes cast by animal lovers across the country and a celebrity panel of dog lovers and experts, eight courageous canines have been named finalists in the 2016 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards®, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. These heroic canines each took top honors in their individual categories from a field of 173 initial nominees and now a combination of America’s voters and a panel of celebrity judges will determine which dog will take home top honors as the 2016 American Hero Dog. The public is invited to submit one vote per day through August 24 at www.herodogawards.org.The eight finalists will be flown to Los Angeles to take part in the star-studded Hero Dog Awards gala on September 10 at the Beverly Hilton, which will be broadcast as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel in late October.  The eight category winners for 2016 are:

  • MILITARY DOG Layka from Galena, KS
  • ARSON DOG Judge from Allentown, PA
  • SERVICE DOG Gander from Great Lakes, IL
  • EMERGING HERO DOG Hooch from Tehachapi, CA
  • LAW ENFORCEMENT DOG K-9 Roo from Boston, MA
  • SEARCH AND RESCUE DOG Kobuk from York, ME
  • GUIDE/HEARING DOG Hook from Sacramento, CA
  • THERAPY DOG Mango from Las Cruces, NM)

Each of the eight finalists will win $2,500 for their designated charity partner and the winning 2016 American Hero Dog’s charity partner will receive 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 Association, focuses on the importance of the human-animal bond.

Over the past five 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.

 “The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards celebrate the important role dogs play in our lives,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association president and CEO. “The American public and our special judging panel now have an extraordinarily tough task ahead of them in determining who our top dog will be because all are worthy winners.”

“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 have helped educate America about the lifesaving, life-affirming work of our nation’s canine heroes.”

 

Meet the Eight Remarkable Hero Dog Awards finalists

Arson Dogs category (sponsored by State Farm®)

 

Judge (Allentown, PA) – Allentown Fire Department Arson K9 Judge is a seven-year old yellow Labrador retriever who has been in service since early 2011. His handler says Judge is a more vocal than the other arson dogs, but he attributes it to Judge’s outgoing personality and drive to work. Judge is a well-rounded K-9 who thrives in three major areas: investigation, deterrence, and education. As an investigator, Judge has worked more than 275 fire scenes and during that time, evidence he has found has led to multiple criminal arrests and civil penalties for insurance fraud cases. As a deterrent, the numbers speak for themselves – the number of arson fires has dropped 52.7 percent since Judge has been in service with the City of Allentown. As an educator, Judge has been in more than 500 fire safety programs and demonstrations for crime watch groups, specialty dog shows, elementary and high school programs, and everything in between. He is now part of a pilot program with autistic children to provide them with lifesaving information. He has been instrumental in making the entire Lehigh Valley and neighboring communities more aware of fire and life safety.

Emerging Hero Dogs category (sponsored by Merial, maker of NexGard® (afoxalaner) Chewables)

 

Hooch (Tehachapi, CA) – Hooch is a French Mastiff with badly cropped ears, a broken tail, no tongue, and a bright spirit. Zach Skow, of Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue, learned about him from a shelter in Bakersfield, and was told that the dog would not eat or drink, and would instead thrash his food and water bowls around “like a maniac.” He was 35 pounds underweight – starving, dehydrated, and severely malnourished. Never thinking to check for a missing tongue, they thought he might have a broken or dislocated jaw that was causing his behavior. When taken to the vet, he was sedated to ready him for x-rays, and the gruesome discovery was made: Hooch’s tongue had been savagely removed at its base, likely in an attempt to prime him for the role of a bait dog. Hooch kept removing his feeding tube, but he took well to being hand-fed. He tilts his head back while his owner takes a handful of food and places it in the back of Hooch's throat, letting gravity do the rest. Hooch stands for overcoming adversity, bravery and living in the moment. He spends many hours with Marley's Mutts’ Miracle Mutts division serving as a therapy dog. He works with autistic, abused and special needs children. Hooch shows patience and kindness, is proof that anything can be overcome, and is a great mascot for bravery.

 

 

Guide/Hearing Dogs category (sponsored by Clover Stornetta Farms, the official "Mootastic" sponsor of the 2016 Hero Dog Awards)

 

Hook (Sacramento, CA) – Hook is a 12-pound, 10-year-old hearing dog and goes almost everywhere with his handler. Three years ago the pair was in downtown Sacramento crossing a street. A train was coming that she could not hear because of her impairment. As she was approaching and crossing the track Hook started jumping on her and she did not know why; she could not figure out what he wanted. Then, she stopped and saw people on the street motioning to her. Hook saw the danger ahead that she was not aware of and pulled her from the track. She turned around not knowing why Hook reacted that way, but then saw the train. It had missed her by a foot. Another time a prowler broke into her office when she was in the back room. Scared and sensing a presence in her waiting room, she suddenly saw Hook bolting down the hallway, growling and chasing away the intruder. Hook’s handler is a family therapist and Hook sits beside her chair while she listens to and helps patients. She says that “the amazing thing about Hook is he is not only sensitive to my needs but to the needs of others. When he sees a patient in distress or crying he will leave our chair, go sit in the patient’s lap and lick their tears. He has brought smiles to many children, teens, and adults in our practice. Hook is everyone's hero not just mine.”

Law Enforcement Dogs category (sponsored by the RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program™ from Zoetis)

 

K-9 Roo (Boston, MA) – K-9 Roo is a ballistics/bomb dog with the Boston Police Department, and is retiring this year. His accomplishments include the recovery of 12 firearms (including three used in homicides), more than 300 shell casings involved in shootings, and he has answered at least 500 “shots fired” calls and 200 calls to investigate suspicious packages. He searched Boylston Street after the Boston Marathon bombing, looking for secondary devices amid the carnage. He was in Watertown the night of the shootout and was the only Boston Police K-9 present for the capture of Dzokhar Tsarnaev. Roo searched the yard he was captured in immediately after to ensure Tsarnaev did not plant any IEDs to kill responding officers. He has performed dignitary protection for everyone from the mayor of Boston to the President of the United States, including heads of state from all over the world. He has had the honor of attending funerals of former Boston police officers and officers killed in the line of duty in New York City. Roo has also brightened the days of children by coming to visit them in the hospital or performing demonstrations at community events. He's protected thousands at public events, from Red Sox games to a New Kids on the Block concert where he ate an entire pizza that a roadie tried to hide – nothing gets by him.

 

 

Military Dogs category (sponsored by the RIMADYL K-9 Courage Program™ from Zoetis)

 

Layka (Galena, KS) – In May 2012 Layka’s team was assaulting an enemy compound in an Afghan village, receiving direct rifle fire from the compound.  Apache helicopters and Hellfires were brought in to help. Layka was sent into search for injured or live combatants and explosives. Once inside, she engaged an enemy combatant while taking four rounds from an AK-47 to the right shoulder area. Her handler removed her from the building and headed to a predetermined point for extraction where the medics started working on her. She was flown to a base where her right leg was removed and she was prepped for transport to Germany. Once in Germany she underwent more surgery to remove and repair her shoulder and triceps. She was moved to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to fully recover and was medically retired in August of 2012.

 

Search and Rescue Dogs category

 

Kobuk (York, ME) – Kobuk is a certified search and rescue dog and a member of the volunteer, non-profit Maine Search & Rescue Dogs team. One of his most successful finds was locating a 77-year-old diabetic with dementia, who had been missing for two nights in the Maine woods without food, water, or her medications. Kobuk’s mission was incredibly time-sensitive. After hours of searching, on the third morning Kobuk’s nose went up into the air, and he took off running two-tenths of a mile to locate her. Kobuk sprinted back to his handler, gave a loud bark (the signal that he had found her), then turned back around and bolted back to the elderly woman with his handler in pursuit. Thankfully, she was found in time to save her life. Kobuk searches with enthusiasm, never quits while someone is still lost in the woods, and he loves to give kids his signature "Kobuk-kisses"

 

 

Service Dogs category (sponsored by Modern Dog)

 

Gander (Great Lakes, IL) – Gander was saved from a Colorado shelter, and was rescued by a women's prison program in Denver, Colorado for obedience training. He was then trained by Freedom Service Dogs in Englewood, Colorado. It was there in September 2012 that his handler and Gander became a team. They have not spent one day apart since then and he credits Gander with literally saving his life. In 2014, Gander was the first mixed breed dog to win the American Kennel Club “Award for Canine Excellence.” Gander is on a mission. He travels the United States – 36 states so far – to encourage education and awareness for PTS, veteran suicide, service dogs, and persons with visible and invisible disabilities. While traveling, the team performs Planned Acts of Community Kindness (PACKS), and fundraising. They have been instrumental in helping to raise a million dollars for numerous veterans’ groups, veterans, service dog charities, and individuals in need. They sponsored the country's first service dog education conference, and have given hundreds of presentations to schools and community organizations. The team created a collection of inspirational dog stories entitled, “In Dogs We Trust.” They love to visit hospitals, USOs and community events as service dog ambassadors.

 

 

Therapy Dogs category (sponsored by Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food, the Official Pet Food of the 2016 Hero Dog Awards)

 

Mango (Las Cruces, NM) – Mango is a four-year-old paralyzed rescue who was homeless, hit by a car, and scheduled for euthanasia. Emma's Cleft Palate Chihuahua Rescue pulled Mango from a shelter, nursed her back to health and placed her in a program called Emma's Rescue Reserve. This program was created to place paralyzed dogs with owners so they could work with disabled veterans who suffer from physical disabilities and show them that if a small dog in a wheelchair can overcome her handicap, then so can they. The comfort Mango brings them teaches that “disabled” is only a word and words should never stop our ability to overcome a life-altering, physical change no matter what the handicap may be.  Mango also helps other disabled pets through “Mango's Freedom Wheels,” which purchases wheelchairs for them. Thanks to generous donations, the group has purchased more than 150 custom-built wheelchairs to help other animals regain their ability to be mobile again. She has put cats, dogs, and even a mini-horse and pig into wheelchairs so they can experience the freedom of standing and running once more.

 

Zoetis is the official online sponsor of the Hero Dog Awards.

 

About American Humane Association

American Humane Association is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.americanhumane.org. To inquire about Hero Dog sponsorship opportunities, please email Mari Harner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

  

 

Angel on a Leash

Therapy Dogs and the Lives They Touch

 

By David Frei

Release Date: 10/2011

ISBN: 978-1-935484-63-9

Price: $16.95

Paperback, 208 pages, full-color photographs

 

 

Angel on a Leash will make you smile and cry and appreciate the great things that our dogs do for us and for people in need...” —Betty White

 

“David and his dogs love and trust each other, and this has enabled him to make it his life’s work to share hope with people in need. It has also given him many wonderful stories to share with us in this heartwarming book. I couldn’t put it down.” — Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer

 

“When a dog wags his tail, it is connected to his heart. When David tells these stories of the dogs he has known and the good they’ve done, they are connected to his.” —John O’ Hurley, from the foreword

 

 

Dogs are more than just man’s best friend. They are guardians and messengers. They can lift spirits and even save lives. Some would say they aren’t just friends, but angels. True stories of dogs touching humans in ways that will inspire readers both young and old are told in Angel on A Leash: Therapy Dogs and the Lives They Touch by the very familiar voice of David Frei who has been the announcer of The Westminster Kennel Club for the past 21 years and also helped to found the Angel on a Leash charitable foundation along with Westminster.

Part of the proceeds from the sales of Angel on a Leash will benefit the organization of the same name and thus bring a smile to countless sick individuals who are in dire need of what may be a last smile. As one reads the book they will see almost as through their own eyes:

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    • a six-year-old play and laugh as if he hasn’t a care in the world after a day of tests and treatments
    • a combat-traumatized soldier connect with the world around him as he pets a new friend
    • a cancer survivor enjoy the familiarity of a warm nose
    • an eighty-five-year-old widower smile as his weekly canine visitor bounds into his room
    • the weary parents of a pediatric oncology patient comforted by a nuzzle of a warm nose of an angel with  four legs

Angel on a Leash will touch the soul of any reader who looks through the pages of photographs of patients with their four legged angel. It will warm the heart of any reader who has ever dealt with any illness or loss of a loved one. It will change the way the reader looks at man’s best friend forever.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

David Frei is well known to millions of television viewers as the longtime co-host (21 years) of the popular Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February.  He is also the co-host on NBC of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving since its inception. With Westminster, David helped to create Angel on A Leash, a charitable activity supporting therapy dog programs at health care facilities around the country. David is an active volunteer as well, visiting each week at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Ronald McDonald House of New York. He is a member of the Sports Council of the St. Jude Children’s Research.

 

About BowTie Press:

 

BowTie offers the finest animal care and pet books for dog, cat, horse, bird, fish, reptile, small animals, and farm animals as well as rural living and transportation topics. From how to house-train a new puppy to winning a “Best in Show,” homeowners, experts, and professionals look to BowTie Press for the best and most relevant publications. More information can be found at: www.bowtiepress.com