AKC Humane Fund Honors ACE Winners

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
The winners of the 19th Annual AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) have been named, and we believe you’ll love the five amazing winners!

Each year for the past 18 years, the AKC Humane Fund has celebrated loyal and hard-working dogs–dogs who have made marked differences in the lives of their owners and communities.

This year, five dogs from five categories–Uniformed Service K-9, Service, Therapy, Search and Rescue and Exemplary Companion Dog–were chosen as standouts in their communities.

DougLjungren is the president of the AKC Humane Fund and said that each dog nominated was a testament to their hard work and commitment to their owners and families. He said the organization was thrilled to honor the achievements of all the contestants, and particularly the five winners.

Related: American Humane Nominee Was Returned 4 Times Before Finding Her Calling

Each winner will get a donation of $1000 to be made to a pet-related charity of their choosing and a year’s pet insurance policy from AKC Pet Insurance. They will also be awarded an engraved sterling silver medallion at the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canan this December in Orlando, Florida. Eukanuba Pet Food sponsors the 2018 AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence.

Without further ado, the winners are as follows:

Uniformed Service K-9: Copper from Cocoa, Florida

K-9 Copper is officially named Oak Hills Above and Beyond by Brenmaur and is two-years-old. The Black and Tan Coonhound serves the Cocoa Police Department with his handler, Officer Chris Hattaway. Copper is a registered therapy dog and tracks missing persons. He is a big part of the force’s engagement and public relations departments and he helps bridge the gap between the police and the community. He’s warm and comforting, especially to victims of trauma and abuse, and when he’s not working, he represents Black and Tan Coonhounds at the AKC Meet the Breeds Booth at the AKC National Championship in Orlando.

Service Dog: Sampson from Foosland, Illinois

Sampson is a three-year-old Golden Retriever who is certified by Paws GIving Independence. When his human Joey Ramp suffered a life-altering accident in 2006, which included brain injury and nerve damage as well as complex-post traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), Sampson changed her life again. Sampson helps with mobility, bracing, climbing and retrieving and a host of other tasks. Joey and Sampson combined powers to challenge the University of Illinois when the would not allow service dogs in laboratories. Ramp was pursuing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and had to fight to overcome dog access obstacles. Together, they helped the Univerity to allow service dogs access to biology and research labs, and together the pair is helping promote the same at other universities while they work together to study the impact of service dogs in lab environments. They hope to develop a national model for universities.

Therapy Dog: Kol from Boynton Beach, Florida

Kol is an eight-year-old Golden Retriever who belongs to Jane Eisenberg. His official name is GCHB CH Gemini’s House of the Rising Sun CDX BN RAE JH THDD CGCA TKA and is certified by Paws for Assitance. Kol is an AKC Grand Champion and has completed at least 400 therapy dog visits. Jane and Kol have spent six years working with those who have experienced trauma, including spending several months at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida after the horrible shooting that occurred in February. Together Jane and Kol comforted parents, students and staff and gave love to any who needed it. Kol brought peace and calm at a time wounds were deep in hearts and minds.

Search and Rescue: Inspector Gadget from Lancaster, California

Inspector Gadget is officially known as CH Inspector Gadget Sniffs Spottyacre. He is an eleven-year-old bloodhound who works with Mission Ready Search and who is a Rescue Dog with the California Rescue Dog Association. He and his handler, Bob Wells, have located missing people dozens of times and aided in bringing them home. He is an outstanding tracking dog who brings hope and closure to various families missing loved ones. He is an AKC Champion, earning a title in Conformation, and loves his family and his special spot on the couch.

Related: American Humane Turns Shelter Dogs to Service Dogs For Veterans

Exemplary Companion Dog Teddy from Harbor Springs, MI

Six-year-old Standard Poodle Teddy is officially known as Jed’s Theodore Roosevelt SH CD BN RE TD TDU CGC. Teddy is a companion dog to Spencer Pardee who was adopted from Guatemala when he was six-months-old. His mother Terri says that Teddy has helped Spencer’s confidence as he’s battled autism his while life. Teddy and Spencer bonded from the moment they brought him home, and Teddy helped Spencer come out of his shell as they began to compete in AKC sports. Spencer and Teddy earned many AKC titles and even gave Obedience demonstrations to a classroom of peers. Teddy has helped Spencer’s world open up.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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