Every dog has its day, and one four-legged local is hoping that day will come for them on September 29 at the eighth annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards® in Beverly Hills. Guide Dog Frances, my four-year-old Labrador Retriever from Staten Island, New York will be competing against 265 other courageous canines for the nation’s highest honor recognizing Mankind’s best friend. Voting by the American public to choose this year’s top American Hero Dog starts now at www.herodogawards.org.
Frances & Holly:
At the age of 32, I lost my eyesight from a rare complication after battling breast cancer. Over the next 6 months, I would have to relearn everything from crossing the street to sorting laundry. Then, the universe threw me the ultimate curveball – I found out I was pregnant! When people asked me how I planned on traveling with me baby, I responded, “I’m going to get a guide dog.”
In September of 2016, Guiding Eyes for the Blind matched with me with Frances, a female yellow Labrador. Since then, “Franny” and I have become partners in both parenting and advocacy work for visually impaired parents. Now the mother of 2 daughters, I depend on Frances to help guide me to pre-school, doctor’s appointments and extracurricular activities.
When “Franny” is not helping me meet the demands of motherhood, she accompanies me to help educate kids through our Visually Impaired Education Program (VIEP). Aimed at grades K-2, V.I.E.P. ’s mission is to engage school-aged children through classroom interaction with the blind/visually impaired community; helping diminish stereotypes associated with blindness. Frances attends every presentation, a beautiful reminder about the important work of guide dogs.
I believe Frances deserves to be the American Hero Guide Dog because her partnership allows me to be the woman I want to be. She helps me juggle all that comes with being a working mom while educating our community about living with vision loss.
Help Guiding Eyes For the Blind:
Frances is competing in the Guide/Hearing category. Local dog lovers and those across the country are invited to visit www.herodogawards.org and vote once per day for their favorite dogs in each of seven categories.
Following the first round of voting, which ends April 25 with the selection of 21 semifinalists (the top three in each category), a second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity voting, will narrow the field to the seven category finalists. The winning dog in each category will be flown to Los Angeles and celebrated at a red carpet, star-studded awards gala on September 29, when this year’s American Hero Dog will be revealed.
Over the past seven years, Americans have cast millions of votes for more than a thousand dogs, all seeking the coveted title of 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, Alison Sweeney, James Denton, Beth Stern, Bindi Irwin, Derek Hough, Richard Marx, Katharine McPhee, Michelle Beadle, Victoria
Stilwell, Whoopi Goldberg, Denise Richards, Joey Lawrence, Lisa Vanderpump, Burt Reynolds, Chelsea Handler, Martin Short, Jewel, Wilson Phillips, John Ondrasik, Carson Kressley, Miranda Lambert, Pauley Perrette, Kristen Chenoweth, Naomi Judd, Lori Loughlin, Lea Thompson, Eric Stonestreet, Fred Willard, Danica McKellar, Bailee Madison, and many, many more.
Winners in each category will earn $2,500 for their designated charity partner (Guiding Eyes for the Blind) and the overall winner’s charity partner will win an additional $5,000 prize. Each charity partner is dedicated to celebrating the role of working dogs in our lives, and like American Humane, celebrates the importance of the human-animal bond.
“Our best friends do so much to improve and even save our lives, and every dog owner knows about the extraordinary, unbreakable bond they share with their dog,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane’s president and CEO. “The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are our way of celebrating the power of the human-animal bond, which has been a core part of our organization’s mission for 141 years.”
Key dates for the 2018 American Humane Hero Dog Awards contest include:
· 1st Round Voting: Now until April 25, 2018
· 2nd Round Voting: May 16, 2018 – July 11, 2018
· 3rd Round Voting: July 25, 2018 – September 5, 2018
· American Humane Hero Dog Awards gala event in Los Angeles – September 29, 2018
For more information about the 2018 American Humane Hero Dog Awards®, and to vote daily in the contest, please visit www.herodogawards.org.
About American Humane:
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit www.americanhumane.org. To inquire about Hero Dog Awards sponsorship opportunities, please email Mari Harner at [email protected]