Fourth annual contest to honor nation's bravest four legged heroes features exciting new categories and voting structure. Inaugural edition of the quest to honor the best and bravest veterinary professionals now begins

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 7, 2014 at 12:11 p.m.



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-- WITH PHOTO -- TO NATIONAL EDITORS:

A Day For Heroes! Voting Now Open For American Humane Association Hero

Dog AwardsT; Now Accepting Nominations For American Humane Association

Hero Veterinarian And Hero Veterinary Technician AwardsT

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today is a

special day for heroes, both two- and four-legged alike. American

Humane Association, the oldest national humane organization, is

pleased to announce that the semifinalist round of public voting is

now open for the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog AwardsT,

presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation. The organization also

announced that online nominations are now being accepted for the

inaugural American Humane Association Hero Veterinarian and Hero

Veterinary Technician AwardsT, presented by Zoetis Inc., which also

serves as the online sponsor for the Hero Dog Awards.

Eight finalist dogs and two veterinary professionals will be flown to

Hollywood to take part in the fourth annual Hero Dog Awards gala at

the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday, September 27, to be broadcast

nationally on Hallmark Channel in late October. There they will walk

the red carpet, conduct VIP interviews, and attend the awards show and

black-tie gala where the winning 2014 American Hero Dog, Hero

Veterinarian, and Hero Veterinary Technician will be announced.

The American public is now invited to visit www.herodogawards.org to

vote for their favorite dog in each of eight categories: Law

Enforcement Dogs, Military Dogs, Arson Dogs (sponsored by State Farm),

Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Service Dogs (sponsored by

Modern Dog), Therapy Dogs (sponsored by Zoetis), and Emerging Hero

Dogs for ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things (sponsored by

Trupanion Pet Insurance). One vote per category per day can be

submitted until June 6 when this round of voting ends. This year, 24

spectacular semifinalists (the top three in each category) will be

chosen in 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 compete for

the grand prize of 2014 American Hero Dog.

Each of the eight finalists will win $1,500 for their chosen charity

selected from the contest's list of 15 charity partners. The top

winner will win an additional $5,000 for their charity partner.

And Behind Every Healthy Pet (and Other Animals) is a Hero Vet or Hero

Vet Tech! Pet owners and animal lovers alike are also invited to visit

www.herovetawards.org to nominate their favorite veterinary

professionals dedicated to the betterment of the health and welfare of

animals and the promotion of the human-animal bond. These awards are

not limited to companion animal veterinarians. Professionals from all

fields of veterinary medicine are eligible for entry including, but

not limited to those who work in: research, specialist fields,

emergency services, shelters, and those who work with large and exotic

animals. The five finalists in the American Hero Veterinarian and

American Hero Veterinary Technician categories will be selected by a

special blue-ribbon panel of judges consisting of celebrities,

veterinary professionals, and animal care professionals. Beginning

June 13, the American public will be invited to vote online for their

favorite veterinarian and vet tech.

"Hero dogs do so much to keep us safe, happy, and healthy. It is the

least we can do to honor them on their special night every fall. We

can't wait to meet the 2014 class of Hero Dogs," said Dr. Robin

Ganzert, American Humane Association's president and CEO. "And to us,

all vets and vet techs are heroes, and this is why we want to honor

the best of the best in their field."

This star-studded event draws animal lovers and celebrities from all

over the world. Celebrity presenters and the celebrity judges who work

with the public on the final two rounds of voting of the Hero Dog

Awards to determine the semi-finalists and winner have included

Victoria Stilwell, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Joey Lawrence,

Miranda Lambert, Kristin Chenoweth, and many, many more. Even

celebrity dogs are getting involved: "I believe all dogs are heroes!"

says American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards National Spokesdog

Super Smiley, who with handler, actress, and "The Pet Lifestyle

Coach@" Megan Blake have their own show on Pet Life Radio and advocate

to get shelter pets adopted.

"There is nothing better than a dog to provide warmth, comfort and

often life-saving care for people," added Lois Pope. "It has been my

honor to serve as the presenting sponsor of the American Humane

Association Hero Dog Awards for the past three years because of the

important place dogs have in all our hearts. Each and every one of

these brave canines and their owners are heroes in my book."

"We are excited to partner with American Humane Association for the

American Humane Association Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary

Technician AwardsT," said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Group Director of

CAD Veterinary Operations at Zoetis. "We are deeply appreciative of

everything the veterinary community does to benefit pets, farm

animals, working animals, and more; these awards are our way of giving

back. We cannot wait to meet the winners who will be shining examples

of the heroic work done every day by our Hero Vets and Hero Vet

Techs."

About American Humane Association American Humane Association is the

country's first national humane organization and the only one

dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877,

American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually

every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty,

abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding

the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society.

American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day

through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that

span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can

help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at

www.americanhumane.org today.

About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE

(Leaders in Furthering Education) As one of America's leading

philanthropists, Lois Pope has positively impacted the lives of

individuals at the local, national and international levels. She has

established three different organizations dedicated to helping those

in need. These organizations are the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc.,

Leaders In Furthering Education (LIFE), and the Disabled Veterans'

Life Memorial Foundation. Over the last 20 years she has been the

driving force behind the Lois Pope LIFE Center at the University of

Miami School of Medicine, The American Veterans Disabled for Life

Memorial, a summer camp program serving thousands of underprivileged

children and a groundbreaking new program with American Humane

Association in Palm Beach County. Lois Pope has recently donated two

Lois Pope Red Star Vehicles. Each rescue vehicle is a 50-foot long

response unit, complete with a Ford F-350 truck and trailer, which is

specifically designed and outfitted to provide an array of emergency

services within the region. To learn more visit www.life-edu.org or

call 561.865.0955.

About Zoetis Zoetis (zo-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company,

dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building

on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis

discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and

medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and

supported by a range of services. In 2012, the company generated

annual revenues of $4.3 billion. With approximately 9,300 employees

worldwide at the beginning of 2013, Zoetis has a local presence in

approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in

11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers

and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120

countries. For more information on the company, visit www.zoetis.com.

Zoetis is the proud sponsor with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling

Exhibitions and the American Veterinary Medical Association of the

mobile educational exhibit Animal Connections: Our Journey Together.

Families visiting the exhibit will explore the vast bonds between

people and animals and learn about the important role veterinarians

play in protecting animal and human health. For more information,

visit https://www.zoetis.com/animal-connections-tour/.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101108/DC97343LOGO

SOURCE American Humane Association

-0- 03/07/2014

/CONTACT: Scott Sowers, 202-677-4228, scotts@americanhumane.org

/Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101108/DC97343LOGO

PRN Photo Desk photodesk@prnewswire.com

/Web Site: http://www.americanhumane.org

CO: American Humane Association

ST: District of Columbia

SU: ANW PET AWD SVY

PRN

-- DC79291 --

0000 03/07/2014 19:08:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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The Associated Press

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