American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, has announced the official start of the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards campaign. The annual, year-long campaign seeks to identify and honor the best of our best friends and will culminate this fall with the premiere of the “American Humane Hero Dog Awards” on Hallmark Channel. The two-hour special, now in its 11th year, is broadcast in conjunction with the network’s pet adoption advocacy initiative, Hallmark Channel’s Adoption Ever After, which aims to empty the shelters and end this country’s epidemic of pet homelessness.
Dog owners across the country are invited to visit www.herodogawards.org and nominate their heroic hound in one of seven categories. This fall, the top dog in each category will appear at the nationally televised, star-studded, red-carpet awards gala and one of the seven will be named the American Hero Dog of the year – the most prestigious honor a canine can receive.
The seven categories for 2021 are: Law Enforcement Dogs, Military Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs, Shelter Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs and Guide/Hearing Dogs. Following the nomination period, which ends on March 2, 21 semifinalists (the top three in each category) will be chosen in a first round of voting by the public. The second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity judge voting, will narrow the field to seven category finalists who will then vie, through a final round of public and celebrity judge voting, for the title of 2021 American Hero Dog.
During the past 10 years, Americans have cast millions of votes for thousands of dogs, all seeking the coveted title of American Hero Dog. The program reached more than four billion people last 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 Vivica A. Fox, Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Betty White, Ariel Winter, Rebecca Romijn, Faithe Herman, Marcus Scribner, Dean Cain, Katharine McPhee, Shannen Doherty, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristin Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Eric Stonestreet, Fred Willard, Danica McKellar and many, many more.
“Whether they protect us on the battlefield, help us with medical challenges, or just lighten our spirits with an enthusiastic kiss after a hard day, dogs save and improve our lives every day,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane’s president and CEO. “The American Humane Hero Dog Awards is our way of saluting our best friends and we invite every dog lover to take a few minutes to recognize the love, skill and loyalty these remarkable animals show us every day by nominating their canine companion now at www.HeroDogAwards.org.”
Key dates for the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards contest include:
Nominations through – March 2
1st Round Voting: March 25 – May 6
2nd Round Voting: May 27 – July 15
3rd Round Voting: July 29 – September 9
Hero Dog Awards gala: Coming this fall
All rounds open and close at 12 p.m. Pacific Time.
More information about the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, including complete contest rules and entry information, can be obtained by visiting www.herodogawards.org and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. More information on sponsorship opportunities can be had by emailing Jill Nizan at [email protected] or by calling 1-800-227-4645.