The recent American Humane Hero Dog Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton Los Angeles, was a glowing success in recognizing our four-legged heroes. From stunning celebrities and a seamlessly planned Gala, to global recognition for the four-legged heroes and their supporters who’ve done so much for their country and kin. Meet all the hero finalists like Service Dog of the Year Roxy the PTSD Service Dog, and find out how her amazing abilities assist her owner Justin, a disabled veteran from the Iraq war.
During the Gala, the American Humane Society also named the winners of its Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards. Dr. David Chico from Albany, New York, was named 2018’s American Hero Veterinarian, and Tammy Boland of Oceanport, New Jersey was awarded 2018’s American Hero Veterinary Nurse. These two heroic Veternary figures have set the bar in their fields for their outstanding work in caring for animals and pet-owners. Overall, the American Hero Dog Awards were a wonderful reminder to celebrate those who’ve had a positive influence in saving the lives of animals and people. Congratulations Chi Chi, winner of the American Humane Hero Dog of the Year award! (More on Chi Chi’s story following…)
1. American Humane Hero Dog Winner and Therapy Dog of the Year; Chi Chi:
This inspiring dog is a quadruple amputee, surviving unthinkable conditions when she was left for dead in South Korea. Despite her adversity, Chi Chi is a sweet, courageous and forgiving dog, bringing hope and renewed optimism to everyone she meets.
Chi Chi won the heart of America, and this win also meant that a donation of $5000 would go to Pet Partners, Chi Chi’s Charity partner for the event.
2. Service Dog of the Year (sponsored by Modern Dog magazine); Roxy the PTSD Service Dog:
Roxy assists her owner Justin, a disabled veteran from the Iraq war, by noticing his anxiety and helping him cope with PTSD. Justin shares Roxy’s amazing abilities with other recovering veterans and they both enjoy visiting the local hospital to bring joy and comfort to those who need it.
Roxy is a trained off-leash K-9 and has also received three Canine Good Citizenship awards.
3. Military Dog of the Year; Sgt. Fieldy:
This bright and energetic dog served in the U.S. Marine Corps until late 2014, and during his time saved countless lives searching for and discovering explosives planted by insurgents in Afghanistan.
Fieldy was deployed to Afghanistan on four separate tours for explosives detection and has now finally retired to live with his loving handler CPL Nicolas, a veteran who’d been part of the original combat team with Fieldy.
4. Search and Rescue Dog of the Year; Ruby:
Ruby saved the life of a young boy who’d been missing for over 36 hours. When Ruby and her partner were brought in, they finally found the boy in grave medical condition, but rescued him in time to have a full recovery.
This boy’s mother turned out to be Ruby’s previous foster mom who’d taken her in before her K-9 days, and Ruby’s partner believes that it was Ruby’s way of saying ‘Thank You’ for all of her kindness.
5. Guide/Hearing Dog of the Year; Frances:
Frances helps educate the world about the blind/visually impaired community through her human partner’s Visually Impaired Education Program, presented to grades K-2 in schools.
Frances also helps her human raise two daughters and perform day-to-day activities, an amazing example of how beneficial dogs can be in our lives.
6. Emerging Hero Dog of the Year; Willow:
This lucky dog survived a close call in the meat trade and is now spreading awareness of the tragic dog and cat meat industry in South Korea through helpful resources and non-graphic means.
Willow inspires others to aid animal welfare programs and raises funding for less fortunate animals all over the world.
7. Law Enforcement/Arson Dog of the Year; K-9 Flash:
Found as a puppy at an animal shelter, Flash was rescued a day before she was to be euthanized and chosen for the Narcotics K-9 course for the Washington State Patrol Academy. Excelling at her program, Flash was the only dog to score a perfect 100% on her certification and went on to have over 8 successful years aiding in crime prevention before her retirement in 2013.
Currently, Flash is inspiring national non-profit movements to take care of retired K-9 heroes who no longer receive agency funding.
For more information and to learn how to get involved next year, check out the Hero Dog Awards website. For more information on American Humane and how you can get involved in their year-round animal-aiding programs, check them out here!
War Veterans + Shelter Dogs
It’s not only a match made in heaven; it’s a recipe for success. This amazing organization is saving the lives of war veterans AND shelter dogs at the same time. Learn what they do, then curl up with your pup (and a box of tissues) to watch this compilation of dogs welcoming soldiers home.
Source: ModernDog.com, Invision for American Humane / AP Images|
All photo credits: Invision for American Humane / AP Image