(Wonder, a service dog located in Bend, has been nominated for 2021’s American Hero Dog | Photo courtesy of the American Humane Society)
Every dog has its day, and more than 400 of the nation’s most wonderful dogs are hoping that day will come for them this fall during the 11th annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards. Now it’s up to America to help decide which of these dogs will take home the top prize — being named 2021’s American Hero Dog, the highest honor a dog can receive — at the awards, which are sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and will be broadcast as a two-hour special on Hallmark Channel this fall.
“Our best friends do so much to improve and even save our lives, and every dog owner knows about the extraordinary, unbreakable bond they share with their dog,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO. “The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are our way of celebrating the power of the human-animal bond, which has been a core part of our organization’s mission for 144 years.”
“The Hero Dog Awards recognize some of America’s bravest heroes,” said philanthropist and Platinum Presenting Sponsor Lois Pope. “I am honored to present this invaluable effort to honor the best of our best friends and shine a light on the extraordinary acts of courage and kindness performed by ordinary dogs.”
Dog lovers across the country are invited to visit herodogawards.org and vote once per day for their favorite dogs in each of seven categories. After the first round of voting ends on May 6, 21 semifinalists (the top three in each category) will move on to the second round of voting. From this pool, the field will narrow down to the seven category finalists. The winning dog in each category will take part in the nationally televised Hero Dog Awards this fall and this year’s top American Hero Dog will be revealed.
The seven categories for 2021 are: Military Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Law Enforcement/Detection Dogs; Service Dogs; Shelter Dogs; Search and Rescue Dogs; and Guide/Hearing Dogs.
During the past ten years, Americans have cast millions of votes for more than 1,000 dogs, all seeking the coveted title of American Hero Dog. The program reaches billions of 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 Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Betty White, Ariel Winter, Vivica A. Fox, Rebecca Romijn, Alison Sweeney, James Denton, Beth Stern, Faithe Herman, Marcus Scribner, Bindi Irwin, Derek Hough, Richard Marx, Katharine McPhee, Michelle Beadle, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, John Ondrasik, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristen Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Eric Stonestreet, Danica McKellar, Bailee Madison and many more.
Key dates for the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards contest include:
- 1st Round Voting — March 25-May 6
- 2nd Round Voting — May 27-July 15
- 3rd Round Voting — July 29-September 7
- Hero Dog Awards gala — Coming this fall
All rounds open and close at 12pm Pacific Time. And because behind every hero pet is a hero vet or veterinary nurse, please be sure to cast a daily vote starting June 10 for your favorites in the 2021 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards, sponsored by Zoetis Petcare (a U.S. business unit of Zoetis) at HeroVetAwards.org.
For more information about the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, and to vote daily, please visit herodogawards.org. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, email Mari Harner at email@example.com or call 1-800-227-4645.