The 2014 winner will join illustrious past champions like 2013’s Elle the Pit Bull, a therapy dog who also helps children learn to read and breaks down hurtful negative stereotypes about her breed; Gabe in 2012, who saved countless soldiers’ lives in the desert sands of Iraq by sniffing out caches of potentially deadly weapons; and 2011’s Roselle, who bravely and calmly led her owner, Michael Hingson, down 1,463 stairs in the smoldering World Trade Center on that tragic day in September more than a decade ago.
American Humane Association is excited to announce that next year’s contest will feature revamped categories and a brand new voting structure. The eight categories for 2014 are: Law Enforcement Dogs, Military Dogs, Arson Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs (for ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things).
For the first time ever there will be an additional round of voting, with 24 semifinalists (top three in each category) moving beyond the first round of public voting. The second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity voting, will narrow the field to the eight category finalists, who will then vie for the grand prize of 2014 American Hero Dog.
The final two rounds of voting will include input from a special blue ribbon celebrity juding panel. Winners in each category will earn money for a charity partner while the overall winner’s charity partner will win an additional monetary prize. Each charity partner is dedicated to dedicated to celebrating the role of working dogs in our lives and celebrate the importance of the human-animal bond.
“For thousands of years, dogs have been an integral part of our lives, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that American Humane Association stepped up to officially recognize the amazing work these dogs do every day,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association’s President and CEO.
“Hero dogs do so much to keep millions of Americans safe, happy and healthy, and it is the least we can do to honor them on their special night every fall.”
Key dates for the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards contest include:
- January 15-February 28: Nominations open
- March 7-June 6: Semifinalist voting
- June 13-June 30: Finalist voting
- July 7-September 15: Grand prize 2014 American Hero Dog voting
More information about the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, including complete contest rules and entry information, can be obtained by visiting www.herodogawards.org.