Meet The Pups Of The Hero Dog Awards

You Will Fall In Love With These Brave Dogs

By Catalina Barrios

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Credit: Instagram / @herodogawards

Dogs are one of the most beautiful creatures on Earth. They lighten up our lives and make us start our days with a smile. Our furry friends know us very well; they know when we are happy, when we are sad and when we are ready to go out and have fun with them.

We see people receiving awards for helping others, for being heroes, but how many times have you seen dogs receive awards for being heroes?

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Credit: Instagram / @herodogawards

For the past seven years the Hero Dog Awards have been presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation where our four legged friends are honored for saving lives, lending sight or hearing to a human companion, or just being themselves. Afterall, there’s nothing like coming home after a stressful and long day and being happily greeted by your dog.

Dogs can be nominated in the following seven categories: Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs (the category for “ordinary” dogs who do extraordinary things).

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Credit: Instagram / @herodogawards

Dog lovers vote for their favorite dog in each of the above categories by going to www.herodogawards.org. The winner of each category will receive $2,500 USD for their designated charity partner and the overall winner’s charity partner will win an additional $5,000 USD.

After voting, winners in each category are flown to Hollywood with their owners to attend the American Humane Hero Dog Awards Gala in Los Angeles. They get to walk the red carpet and are recognized in video tributes. How adorable!

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Credit: Instagram / @herodogawards

So let’s meet some of this year’s finalists! Find out who won the overall title below.

1. Adak

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Credit: Instagram / @k9.adak

Adak was a 13 year German Shepherd. He won the Military category. During his time in the military, he provided support to dignitaries and celebrities at events in the United States and abroad. In 2009 he helped identified a threat while conducting a sweep of the Ministry of Agriculture. He unfortunately crossed the rainbow bridge earlier this year in July. RIP Adak!

2. Ice

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Credit: Instagram / @herodogawards

Ice won the Law Enforcement/Arson category. Ice was stabbed twice in 2016 by a suspect while the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office was investigating an illegal marijuana garden. Injured, Ice continued apprehending the suspect until he was taken into custody. This courageous dog was airlifted to an animal hospital and taken into surgery. Thankfully Ice has fully recovered and returned to duty.

3. Pierce

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Credit: Instagram / @herodogawards

Pierce won in the Guide/Hearing category. While in service the with the U.S Army during the first Gulf War, Don Overton had an injury that made him lose his vision. For over 25 years, Don used his white cane to walk as well as the support of his wife and son. Don got Pierce after realizing his son wasn’t enjoying much of the family trips because he was ensuring Don wouldn’t fall. Don says Pierce is a very loving companion and a dog all of the family has fallen in love with.

4. Abigail

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This beautiful dog won the Emerging Hero award. Sadly, Abigail didn’t have the happy life she deserved. When she was found by rescuers, she was anemic, infested with ticks and scars covered her head, neck and back legs. She smelled very bad because of infection and was covered in dried mud. To top this, the entire side of her face was gone. Unbelievable and heartbreaking!

Thankfully her recuperation has been successful. She has had major surgeries and she enjoys being around people and other dogs. Read more about her here!

5. Atlas

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Credit: Instagram / @herodogawards

Atlas won the Service dog award. He was a wonderful support to a soldier who struggled with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) after coming home from Iraq. He received treatments from the Marines and was taking more than 33 pills a day until he found Atlas.

He said Atlas was not only his service dog but also his lifesaver. Atlas helped him to gain back control of his life and inspired him to have a better life as well as being a great model for his children.

And the winner of the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards is…

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Credit: Instagram / @herodogawards

Abigail! Her story will touch your hearts:


Nominations for the 2018 awards will open in February, 2018, so if you know a special dog, get ready.