American Humane Hero Dog Awards, a Glowing Success!

Gala Event- Hero Dog Awards
American Humane Hero Dog Awards, a Glowing Success!


The American Humane Hero Dog Awards, held September 29th at the Beverly Hilton Los Angeles, were a glowing success! From stunning celebrities and a seamlessly planned Gala, to global recognition for the four-legged heroes and their supporters who’ve done so much for their country and kin.

Congratulations Chi Chi, winner of the American Humane Hero Dog of the Year award! (More on Chi Chi's story following...)

 Winner of the American Hero Dog Award

Here are the exciting details of our wonderful experience at the American Humane awards, starting with red-carpet pictures of the stunning stars and the celebrated heroes of the event.

Beth Stern and Hallmark Channel EVP Michelle Vicary

Brandon McMillan Chi Chi, Denise Richards, Elizabeth Howell and Jerry O'ConnellWillow and Danielle Fishel Military Dog of the Year Sgt Fieldy, Nick Caceres, Bailee Madison

1) Beth Stern and Hallmark Channel EVP Michelle Vicary

2) Brandon McMillan

3) Chi Chi, Denise Richards, Elizabeth Howell and Jerry O’Connell

4) Willow and Danielle Fishel

5) Military Dog of the Year Sgt Fieldy, Nick Caceres, Bailee Madison


Once the photo sessions wrapped up, guests had a chance to mingle, sip cocktails and peruse the awesome silent auction items before heading into the Gala hall for the main event. Guests speculated on which of the 7 featured dogs would win the coveted American Hero Dog of the Year award, but everyone we spoke to said regardless of who won, they thought all the featured dogs were heroes in their own right.

James Denton and Beth Stern hosted the event (accompanied by celebrity stars and presenters) and the festivities were filmed for later viewing on the Hallmark Channel. Beth was radiant in her fuchsia colored gown and was taken by surprise when she was awarded Hallmark’s “Adoption Ever After” for her work in helping thousands of shelter animals find forever homes. We learned the stories of all seven finalists who were winners in their categories of:

1. American Humane Hero Dog Winner and Therapy Dog of the Year; Chi Chi:

This inspiring dog is a quadruple amputee, surviving unthinkable conditions when she was left for dead in South Korea. Despite her adversity, Chi Chi is a sweet, courageous and forgiving dog, bringing hope and renewed optimism to everyone she meets.

Chi Chi won the heart of America, and this win also meant that a donation of $5000 would go to Pet Partners, Chi Chi’s Charity partner for the event.

2. Service Dog of the Year (sponsored by Modern Dog magazine); Roxy the PTSD Service Dog:

Roxy assists her owner Justin, a disabled veteran from the Iraq war, by noticing his anxiety and helping him cope with PTSD. Justin shares Roxy’s amazing abilities with other recovering veterans and they both enjoy visiting the local hospital to bring joy and comfort to those who need it.

Roxy is a trained off-leash K-9 and has also received three Canine Good Citizenship awards.




Sgt. Fieldy






3. Military Dog of the Year; Sgt. Fieldy:

This bright and energetic dog served in the U.S. Marine Corps until late 2014, and during his time saved countless lives searching for and discovering explosives planted by insurgents in Afghanistan.

Fieldy was deployed to Afghanistan on four separate tours for explosives detection and has now finally retired to live with his loving handler CPL Nicolas, a veteran who’d been part of the original combat team with Fieldy.




Ruby the Rescue Dog






4. Search and Rescue Dog of the Year; Ruby:

Ruby saved the life of a young boy who’d been missing for over 36 hours. When Ruby and her partner were brought in, they finally found the boy in grave medical condition, but rescued him in time to have a full recovery.

This boy’s mother turned out to be Ruby’s previous foster mom who’d taken her in before her K-9 days, and Ruby’s partner believes that it was Ruby’s way of saying ‘Thank You’ for all of her kindness.





5. Guide/Hearing Dog of the Year; Frances:

Frances helps educate the world about the blind/visually impaired community through her human partner’s Visually Impaired Education Program, presented to grades K-2 in schools.

Frances also helps her human raise two daughters and perform day-to-day activities, an amazing example of how beneficial dogs can be in our lives.






6. Emerging Hero Dog of the Year; Willow:

This lucky dog survived a close call in the meat trade and is now spreading awareness of the tragic dog and cat meat industry in South Korea through helpful resources and non-graphic means.

Willow inspires others to aid animal welfare programs and raises funding for less fortunate animals all over the world.









7. Law Enforcement/Arson Dog of the Year; K-9 Flash:

Found as a puppy at an animal shelter, Flash was rescued a day before she was to be euthanized and chosen for the Narcotics K-9 course for the Washington State Patrol Academy. Excelling at her program, Flash was the only dog to score a perfect 100% on her certification and went on to have over 8 successful years aiding in crime prevention before her retirement in 2013.

Currently, Flash is inspiring national non-profit movements to take care of retired K-9 heroes who no longer receive agency funding.







During the Gala, the American Humane Society also named the winners of its Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards. Dr. David Chico from Albany, New York, was named 2018's American Hero Veterinarian, and Tammy Boland of Oceanport, New Jersey was awarded 2018's American Hero Veterinary Nurse. These two heroic Veternary figures have set the bar in their fields for their outstanding work in caring for animals and pet-owners. 

Overall, the American Hero Dog Awards were a wonderful reminder to celebrate those who’ve had a positive influence in saving the lives of animals and people. We were so glad to be a part of this event and congratulate Chi Chi on her win, and all of the other dogs for their achievements in making the world a better place!

The Awards Ceremony will be broadcasted on the Hallmark Channel, on October 24th, 8/7 Central. Tune in to watch these amazing dogs and learn more about their heroic stories.


For more information and to learn how to get involved next year, check out the Hero Dog Awards website.

For more information on American Humane and how you can get involved in their year-round animal-aiding programs, check them out here!




All photo credits: Invision for American Humane / AP Images

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Comments (1)

Appreciate this post. Will try it out.
Wed, 11/21/2018 - 23:56

Dog of the Week!