The 2013 Hero Dog Awards will take place on October 5 in Hollywood and will air as a 90-minute special on Hallmark Channel on November 7.
From an outstanding field of 141 four-legged heroes, eight of America's top dogs were chosen by the public as winners in each of their specialized categories:
- K9 Lakota of Locust Grove, GA won in the Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs category
- John D of Little Rock, AR won in the Search and Rescue category
- Jingles of Amsterdam, NY won in the Guide Dogs category
- Lola of Bellingham, WA won in the Hearing Dog category
- CWD Carlos EDD of Colorado Springs, CO won in the Military Dogs category
- SD Bronx of Brunswick, GA won in the Service Dogs category
- Elle of Roanoke Rapids, NC won in the Therapy Dogs category
- Cassidy of Midvale, UT won in the Emerging Hero Dogs category
The eight finalists will travel with their human partners to Hollywood for a star-studded gala and award ceremony featuring Betty White and other canine-loving celebrities. Each finalist will be presented with a Hero Dog Award for their feats of loyalty, bravery and love, and win $1,500 for a selected charity partner.
In addition, one extraordinary dog among the eight finalists will be honored as the American Hero Dog for 2013, securing an additional $5,000 for his or her charity partner. To help choose America's top dog, the public can now go to www.herodogawards.org and vote for their favorite once a day through September 26.
The Hero Dog Awards were created by American Humane Association to recognize and honor the powerful relationship between dogs and people. The annual national competition searches out and recognizes America's hero dogs who unreservedly help us in so many important ways, whether it's saving lives on the battlefield, lending sight or hearing to a human companion, providing therapeutic support to those suffering from cancer, or helping autistic children find their voice and connect with the world.