2016 Hero Dog Competition Down To 24 Finalists

American Humane Association’s annual awards recognizes dogs who have gone above and beyond.

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The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards concludes with a gala event in Hollywood, California, where the winner will be announced. Via American Humane Association/Facebook
John Virata

Entrants to the 2016 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, presented by the Lois Pope Life Foundation, have been whittled down to 24 dogs in eight categories. The second round of voting ends June 22.

The annual competition looks for and recognizes dogs who have done amazing things with their human owners, whether it is saving lives, helping the sightless and deaf to “see and hear” and even serving as arson detectors and law enforcement officers.

The winners in each of the eight categories will be flown to Hollywood, California, to attend the Hero Dog Awards gala on September 10, according to the association’s Facebook page. There they will be pampered like celebrities, given the red carpet treatment and be subjects of video tributes highlighting their accolades and work ethics. They will get to hobnob with human and furry celebrities as they wait to find out which one of them will be named Hero Dog of the year.


  • Arson
  • Emerging Hero
  • Guide/Hearing
  • Law Enforcement
  • Military
  • Search and Rescue
  • Service
  • Therapy


Past entrants of the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Via American Humane Association/Facebook

Past entrants of the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Via American Humane Association/Facebook

Awards have gone to many worthy dogs in the past, including Bretagne, the last surviving 9/11 search and rescue dog who passed away June 6 at the age of 16. Bretagne was the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Search and Rescue Dog of the year.

Last year’s overall winner was Harley, a rescue Chihuahua who spent the first 10 years of his life in a cage in a puppy mill. He now serves as a mascot for Harley to the Rescue, a campaign that rescues dogs from the life that Harley once lived.

To read about the 24 Hero Dog finalists up for Dog of the Year and to vote, visit the Hero Dog Awards website.

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