In May we introduced you to some of the 24 dogs competing to be named finalists for the 2016 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards in this LovePets article. Since then, the public has been casting thousands of votes, and we can now reveal the eight dogs who, as winners of their individual categories, will compete for the top honor.
Military Dog: Layka from Galena, Kansas
Arson Dog: Judge from Allentown, Pennsylvania
Service Dog: Gander from Great Lakes, Illinois
Emerging Hero Dog: Hooch from Tehachapi, California
Law Enforcement Dog: Roo from Boston, Massachusetts
Search and Rescue Dog: Kobuk from York, Maine
Guide/Hearing Dog: Hook from Sacramento, California
Therapy Dog: Mango from Las Cruces, New Mexico
Each of the eight finalists has already won $2,500 for their designated charity, and the ultimate winner will be gifted a further $5,000.
American Humane Society President and CEO Dr Robin Ganzert said: "The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards celebrate the important role dogs play in our lives."
"It is an honor to support an effort to recognize the valor of our 'best friends,'" said philanthropist Lois Pope, who has been the presenting sponsor of the awards for the last five years.
"From those who defend our country to those who help us heal, guide us, protect us, and help find the lost, every single contender exemplifies the courage and heroism we seek to spotlight in the Hero Dog Awards campaign. Through this national forum we have helped educate America about the life-saving, life-affirming work of our nation's canine heroes."
You can vote once a day from now until August 24th, 2016 at herodogawards.org, where you can also learn more about the finalists. The awards will be presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, with the finalists being flown to the star-studded Hero Dog Awards gala at the Beverly Hilton on September 10th 2016. A two-hour special covering the gala will be broadcast in late October on the Hallmark Channels, so be sure to check it out.
Good luck to each and every dog; you are already heroes in the eyes of America!