The second round of voting has begun. You can vote online for your favorite semi-finalist in each category through June 26, 2015.
The first round of voting has begun for the fifth annual American Humane Association (AHA) Hero Dog Awards, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation.
The purpose of these awards is to “celebrate the powerful, age-old bond between dogs and people – and give recognition to courageous acts of heroism performed by our four-legged best friends,” according to the official website.
The eight Hero Dog Awards categories are Law Enforcement Dogs; Arson Dogs; Service Dogs; Therapy Dogs; Military Dogs; Search-and-Rescue Dogs; Guide and Hearing Dogs; and Emerging Hero Dogs (ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things).
Through May 15, you can vote online once every day for your favorite dog in each category. You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old to vote.
The top three semifinalists in each category will move on to the second round, which will include votes from celebrities and the public. The winner of each category will appear at the Hero Dog Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Sept. 19, where the 2015 winner will be announced.
To help hero dogs everywhere, AHA will donate $2,500 to each category winner’s charity partner, and an additional $5,000 to the grand prize winner’s charity partner.
Last year’s grand prize winner was Susie, a Pit Bull/German Shepherd-mix who survived a horribly abusive puppyhood and became a therapy dog. She was the inspiration for Susie’s Law, which bumps up the crime of maliciously abusing, torturing or killing an animal in North Carolina from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Through March 13, AHA is also accepting nominations for its Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Technician Awards.
Founded in 1877, AHA was the first national humane organization in the U.S., and is the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals.
It’s a bit early to mark your calendar, but the 2015 Hero Dog Awards will be televised in October.
Photo via Facebook