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American Humane honors nation’s most heroic canines

Robin Ganzert, Carson Kressley, Jeff Callaway, and Ethan, winner of the 12th Annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards.

Photo by Capehart Photography.

Ethan, a dog initially thought to be dead when he was discovered outside the Kentucky Humane Society shelter in Louisville in late January 2021, won the top award at the 2022 American Humane Hero Dog Awards during a gala at the Eau Palm Beach Resort in Manalapan on Nov. 11.

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“The Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the world’s most extraordinary heroes,” said Robin Ganzert, the president and CEO of American Humane. “This year’s finalists have gone above and beyond the call of duty, saving lives on the battlefield, comforting children and seniors, and inspiring us to overcome our own challenges. All are heroes, but I am overjoyed to congratulate Ethan on winning this year’s top title. We hope his story will encourage people to value our animal friends and recognize the healing power of the human-animal bond.”

Ethan, the Shelter Hero Dog winner, took home the overall title of American Hero Dog based on more than 1 million votes by the public and the deliberations of a panel of dog experts and celebrity animal lovers.

The other six category winners also attended the ceremony:

  • K9 Riggs, the Law Enforcement and Detection Hero Dog from Kenosha, Wisconsin

  • Recon, the Service Hero Dog from Suffolk, Virginia.

  • Cole the Deaf Dog, the Therapy Hero Dog from Millville, New Jersey.

  • Iiken M090, the Military Hero Dog from Casa Grande, Arizona.

  • Keb, the Search and Rescue Hero Dog from Edmonds, Washington.

  • Kinley, the Guide/Hearing Dog from Austin, Texas.

Attendees of the Gatsby-themed affair heard music from Michael Bolton and the Danny Beck Band. Carson Kressley, who hosted the inaugural broadcast of the Hero Dog Awards, returned to host the 12th annual event, which will be broadcast on Circle Network at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, Dec. 6.

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Sponsors and notable guests included gala chair Lois Pope, American Humane Chairman John Payne and his wife, Nancy, and American Humane board members Dawn Assenzio, Amanda Bowman, Nelva Bryant, Sharon Jablin, retired Rear Adm. Tom Kearney, Herb Krauss, Marilyn Pelstring, Larry Strickland, Abigail Trenk and David Webb.

Founded in 1877, American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, overseeing the humane treatment of more than 1 billion animals across the globe each year.


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