2012 Hero Dog Awards, Part 3

Aug 18, 2012

Hero dogs come in all sizes and shapes.  The American Humane Association wants your help to select which one of eight finalists should win the 2012 Hero Dog Award.


For the past couple of weeks I have highlighted some of the eight finalists for the Hero Dog Award, sponsored by the American Humane Association.

Holly was nominated in the Service Dog Category, Daniel the Beagle represents the Emerging Hero Dog category, Soot is a black Labrador Search and Rescue Dog, and a German Shepherd named Jynx represents Law Enforcement and Arson Dogs.

A two-year-old Standard Poodle named Stella is nominated in the Therapy Dog category.

She received her certification just last year, and works with developmentally disabled adults and children.  Physical problems and ailments don’t faze Stella, who considers everyone she visits as a friend to be loved unconditionally.  And they respond with smiles and pats and hugs, a sure sign that she has brightened their day. 

Stella’s charity partner is Angel On A Leash, which works specifically in the therapy dog field.

The Military Dog category is represented by a ten-year-old Lab named Gabe, who is a true hero already.

Trained to sniff out weapons, he conducted over two hundred combat missions in Iraq, part of a program by the military to use the special talents of canine soldiers to reduce the number of human ones killed by roadside bombs.  Gabe was so successful that he received three Army Commendation medals, an Army Achievement medal and forty Coins of Excellence – not bad for a dog who was adopted as a puppy from an animal shelter just one day before he was scheduled to be euthanized. 

While in Iraq, Gabe and his handler were assigned to field artillery units.  After prolonged exposure to the sound of weapons fire and explosions, he became sensitive to the noise.  Even now in retirement, he gets nervous when it thunders – maybe a little canine PTSD.  Still, he’s a popular dog.  After all, he has more than twenty thousand friends on Facebook.

Gabe’s charity partner is the United States War Dog Association.

Learn more about the Hero Dog Awards by visiting the website at www.herodogawards.org.

Cast your vote for the finalist you think should be America’s Hero Dog.  In my opinion they are all heroes, when we’re speaking of pets.