By Debbie Gregory.
Heroes come in many shapes and sizes. Some are tall, some are short. Some save lives through daring acts, and some save lives through love and compassion. Some walk on two legs, and some walk on four.
Dogs are making more and more contributions to preserving human life, and they are being recognized for doing so. Besides serving as police dogs, who sniff out illegal substances, and military dogs, used by our armed forces to locate explosive materials, dogs are being called upon to work in therapy and service capacities. The affection and comfort that dogs bring to the sick and afflicted are saving as many lives as their canine-counterparts in military and law enforcement. And just as humans don’t need to wear a uniform to complete heroic deeds, house dogs are also saving lives in neighborhoods across America.
The American Humane Association is now taking nominations for its 2014 Hero Dog Awards. Nominations can be made in eight categories: Law enforcement dogs, Service dogs, Therapy dogs, Arson dogs, Military dogs, Guide/Hearing dogs, Search and Rescue dogs, and Emerging Hero dogs. While most of the categories are self-explanatory, Emerging Hero Dogs are ordinary dogs who have made an extraordinary difference in their owner’s life.
Winners in each category will be awarded a trip to Hollywood for the dog and the owner/handler, and up to $6,500 to be used as a charitable donation to an approved charity for dogs.
So, if you own, serve with, train or know a dog who qualifies as a hero, you are encouraged to nominate him or her for the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Nominations are accepted online. You can nominate your Hero Dog by clicking here.
Nominations are due by February, 28, 2014. The online application form asks entrants to fill out the following information: Entry category, Charity partner, the entrant’s contact information, and the dog’s information, including a photo of your Hero Dog, and a summary of 250 words or less that describe why your dog is a hero.
To see previous winners and finalists, visit HeroDogAwards.org.