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Have you read about a dog who has done something extraordinary? There’s an excellent chance that they may be among the 21 semifinalists in the seventh annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards, and your votes will help decide who among them will be named 2017’s Top Dog!

Roxy Tucker, Award Contestant

The Award ceremony will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel in September, and from now through June 28, you can vote once a day for one of the 21 semifinalists.  As in the past, this year’s field began with nearly 200 contestants in seven categories: Law Enforcement/Arson, Emerging Hero, Guide/Hearing, Military, Search and Rescue, Service and Therapy.

Hooch, American Humane Hero Dog Winner, 2016

Many of the contestants from previous years, such as Hooch, were rescued from shelters, and the candidates for 2017 continue that tradition.  Some canine contestants have overcome physical adversity and abuse, some have served their community for years,  while others give their human partners the help and confidence needed to survive their own hardships.

MacKenzie, Award Contestant

These heroic dogs come from almost every state and are a wide variety of breeds, ages and sizes. ShelterMe believes ALL the contestants are so deserving of their nominations.  Please click on each of the seven category links to see photos of the amazing dogs in EACH category, read their wonderful bios and then cast your vote every day till June 28!

JJ, Award Contestant

Each contestant has a charity partner who may be a rescue, local or national animal organization; American Humane will donate $2,500 to the charity partner of the winning finalist in each category, and the 2017 American Hero Dog will win an additional $5,000 for their charity partner. If you are interested in becoming a 2018 Hero Dog Awards charity partner, please email them at

The annual ceremony, a celebration of the dog-human bond, also recognizes a Hero Veterinarian, as well as a Hero Veterinary Technician. Read the nominations and vote for your favorite human nominee by clicking here!

Abby, Award Contestant

Among other initiatives, the American Humane Association, celebrating their 140th year and held in high regard by Charity Navigator, is the force behind the  “No Animals Were Harmed®” program in Hollywood.

Love reading great stories about animals?  Don’t forget to subscribe to and watch this episode about a dog who finds a new life after being given up at a shelter.


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