We Have the Finalists of the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards!

These brave dogs have been voted as this year’s doggy heroes for these prestigious awards. Now’s your chance to pick the overall 2017 winner!

More than half a million have voted and we’ve now got the finalists list for the top Hero Dogs of America! Already they’re winners as they have secured a prize fund of $2,500 dollars for their designated charity. The overall winner will receive a further $5,000 dollars for charity and, of course, the accolade of being the top American Hero Dog!

Without further ado, let’s meet the finalists from each category:

In the Law Enforcement / Arson Dogs category we have Ice from Olympia, WA. Ice was stabbed twice with a knife while chasing a suspect during a raid on an illegal marijuana plantation. Despite his wounds he refused to let the suspect go. Poor Ice was badly hurt; officers had to carry him to an open area where he was airlifted to the animal hospital. Thankfully, surgery was successful and Ice has made a great recovery. He’s even back on duty serving his country.

Related: Former Rescue Ruger the Hero Dog Sends Poachers Packing

Moving on to the Emerging Hero Dogs category we have Abigail from Lehigh Acres, FL. Poor Abigail has had a tough life. She was found as a stray and taken to a rescue center where they determined that sadly she had been used as a fighting dog. She had so many injuries and scars, half her face was totally missing. She really was on death’s door, but she defied the odds and made a slow but full recovery. She rose to fame, when her carers thought her bandaged face looked like she was wearing a bonnet and shared pictures of her. She melted the hearts of the nation and people started to send bonnets in for her to wear. She stands as a symbol of the battle against dog fighting.

The winner of the Guide / Hearing Dogs category is Pierce from Palm Bay, FL. Pierce is a guide dog for blind Army veteran Don who decided that he was being too much of a burden on his family as they helped him getting out and about. Pierce has transformed the life of Don and his family, Don now has so much more freedom and independence all thanks to Pierce, and they’ve gained a loving friend, too.

Related: The Beautiful Final Moments of A Much-Loved Military Service Dog

The finalist from the Military Dogs category is Adak the German Shepherd from St Cloud, MN. Adak is incredibly clever and worked as an explosive detection dog. He was so good at his job that he was selected to sweep public places for explosives before important dignitaries visited. During the course of his career he has prevented some major disasters and has helped in many difficult and dangerous situations. He is now enjoying a well-earned retirement in a loving family home.

In the Search and Rescue Dogs category, the winner was Luca from Grand Prairie, TX. During an extensive search for a missing man suffering from Alzheimer’s, it was decided that Luca should be sent in to help. Luca tracked the man down. He had become stuck in mud on a river bank. If it wasn’t for Luca, the man would likely have drowned or frozen to death. Without Luca, he would not have been found in time.

The winner of the Service Dogs category is Atlas the Wonder Dog (what a fab name!). Atlas is from Dayton, OH and has transformed the life of a marine who suffered from severe PTSD after returning from Iraq. A decade of therapy and prescription drugs couldn’t do what Atlas has managed to achieve. Atlas is trained to distract and reassure when feelings of anxiety approach. He has a place in the family that enhances the life of everyone.

And finally, the winner of the Therapy Dogs category is Aladdin from Haddonfield, NJ. Aladdin has undergone a huge transformation. He was found back in 2013, thin, with broken legs, open wounds and missing teeth. You’d forgive any dog with these injuries for being wary of people, but no, from day one Aladdin loved people. His tail never stopped wagging. He loves being with people so much he now works as a therapy dog, he visits schools as an anti-bullying ambassador and he adores every minute of it!

Head over to the Hero Dog Awards website to vote for your choice. Want to find out which dog wins the overall title? You can watch the two hour special on the Hallmark Channel this fall.

Emily Hutchinson
Emily Hutchinson

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