Nominations now Open for Hero Dogs

January 23, 2014

​The American Humane Association is once again on the prowl to determine which dogs will be crowned the 2014 Hero Dogs.

The nominating period is in full swing and goes through February 28.

Dogs can be nominated by going to, logging their personal information, providing a short, inspiring story about what makes them hero dogs and submitting the nominee’s photo.

Dogs may be nominated in eight categories: Law Enforcement Dogs, Arson Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs and Emerging Hero Dogs. Rank-and-file pet owners can single out a hero dog they know through the Emerging Hero category, which is tailor-made for more local nominations.


Elle, American Humane Association’s Hero Dog 2013. American Humane Association

The voting rounds: • March 7-June 6: Semifinalists chosen through public online voting • June 13-30: Eight category finalists determined by public vote and celebrity panel voting • July 7- September 15: Grand prize winner chosen by a combination of public online voting and a panel of judges

Nominees are narrowed down to 24 semifinalists (three per category), then to eight finalists and eventually to one grand prize winner – the American Hero Dog.

Each dog finalist is flown to Hollywood, Calif., along with two of the dog’s human companions, to attend the American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sept. 27, 2014.

Each finalist gets $1,500, which their owners or handlers can donate to one of 15 of the contest’s charity partners. The charity chosen by the grand-prize winner receives an additional $5,000.

Elle, a 5-year-old pit bull therapy dog, was named the American Hero Dog last year.