LOS ANGELES – Piglet, an 8-year-old Catahoula leopard dog from Lancaster, is among the top seven finalists for the 2019 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, an annual, nationwide competition that searches out and recognizes America’s Hero Dogs.
Finalists and their human companions will travel to Hollywood for a star-studded awards gala, which will be broadcast nationwide on Hallmark Channel this fall. The seven courageous canines will be featured, and only one dog will be awarded the 2019 American Hero Dog title.
Piglet and the other finalists were selected based on some 900,000 votes cast by animal lovers across the country and a celebrity panel of dog lovers and experts. Each of the finalist took top honors in their individual categories — Law Enforcement/Arson, Guide/Hearing, Military, Search and Rescue, Service, Shelter, and Therapy. Piglet won the Search and Rescue category, slated for hero dogs that locate people on land and in water.
According to the America Hero Dog Awards website:
“Piglet provides a vital service. The value of her work in bringing answers to grieving families is immeasurable. She assists in locating people on land and in water. Once, human searchers spent seven days combing a lake with no luck. On day eight, Piglet deployed and located the subject. She helped the coroner by locating enough bones to reconstruct and positively identify the individual. [Handler] Lori and Piglet donate hundreds of volunteer hours annually and depart for each call-out with enthusiasm. Traveling thousands of miles a year does not diminish Piglet’s bubbly personality and happy-go-lucky attitude. In her off hours, she loves making friends. At events she’s always a crowd-pleaser with a wagging tail, signature “smile,” and endless kisses. Perhaps this is what makes Piglet a unique search and rescue dog.”
The other six dogs vying for the American Hero Dog title include “Dax” from Libertyville, IL, who won the Law Enforcement/Arson category; “Gus” from Houston, TX, who won the Shelter category; “Leader Dog Lady” from Hamilton, MI, who won the Guide/Hearing category; “Sgt. Yeager” from Cary, NC, who won the Military category; “Alice” from Nicholasville, KY, who won the Service category; and “Jeanie” from Lake Charles, LA, who won the Therapy category.
A combination of America’s voters and a panel of celebrity judges will determine which dog wins the coveted title. The public is invited to submit one vote per day through Sept. 9 at www.herodogawards.org.
Over the past nine years, nearly 10 million votes have been cast for American Hero Dog. The program reaches more than 1 billion people each year and draws the support and participation of top celebrity dog lovers from all over the world. Hosts, judges, award presenters, and entertainment acts have included Jay Leno, Billy Crystal, Betty White, Ariel Winter, Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Dean Cain, James Denton, Beth Stern, Katharine McPhee, Alison Sweeney, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Lisa Vanderpump, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristin Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Eric Stonestreet, Fred Willard, Danica McKellar, Bailee Madison, and many, many more.
“The Hero Dog Awards celebrate America’s often unsung heroes,” said philanthropist and Platinum Presenting Sponsor Lois Pope. “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 this campaign.”
For more information about the 2019 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, and to vote daily in the contest or read background information on all seven finalists, visit www.herodogawards.org.