In 1877, representatives from 27 humane organizations met in Cleveland, Ohio and started what would become the American Humane Association. Go online to AmericanHumane.org and look at the history tab to see a year-by-year list of their accomplishments and activities! It is a vivid picture of how the humane movement has evolved over the years!
One hundred forty years ago, the American Humane Association was formed to be a voice for the humane movement in this country. They have helped in so many ways, providing animal shelters with humane education material, assisting veterans in need of PTSD service dogs – and theirs is the name you look for at the end of a motion picture that assures you no animals were harmed in the making of the movie. This week an urgent call from Tennessee authorities brought the AHA animal rescue team in to help 26 dogs found living in a flooded mud pit after their owners had been arrested.
For the past seven years the American Humane Association has invited all of us to help find the Hero Dog of the Year. In 2011, the first Hero Dog was Roselle, a guide dog who saved her human from the collapse of the Twin Towers ten years earlier. Last year, a Pit Bull rescue named Abigail won the top honor.
Here’s how it works. American Humane invites nominations of dogs in seven categories – Therapy dogs, Service dogs, Guide/Hearing dogs, Military dogs, Search & Rescue dogs, Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs. Then voting begins. Who votes? Anyone – it’s online and it’s free! Between now and April 25th, you can go to the website HeroDogAwards.org, read about the dogs, and vote for which one you think should be America’s Hero Dog for 2018. The top three vote-getters in each category will then compete in another round of online voting to see who will be the finalist in each category. Then once again, America votes to help decide which one of the seven finalists will be named Hero Dog of the year.
Who will you vote for? Will it be the dog who saved its family from a fire? Or the one who helps a former soldier make it through the day? It’s a tough choice, because 267 dogs have been nominated.
I encourage you to go online to HeroDogAwards.org and read the stories about these amazing animals. They remind us just how special our furry friends can be, whether they are saving lives or just enriching them, when we’re speaking of pets.