The second round of voting is now open 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 first round of voting, which ended May 15, selected three semifinalists in each of the eight Hero Dog Awards categories: 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).
Now, through June 26, you can vote online once every day for your favorite semifinalist in each category. You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old to vote.
The winner of each category will appear at the Hero Dog Awards ceremony, to be held in Los Angeles on Sept. 19. The 2015 winner will be announced during the ceremony.
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 bumped up the crime of maliciously abusing, torturing or killing an animal in North Carolina from a misdemeanor to a felony.
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. Good luck to all the semi-finalists, whose heroism makes them winners already!
Photo via Facebook