Wednesday, October 25 at 8 PM ET/PT on Hallmark Channel
The sold-out, star-studded awards honoring America’s most courageous canines was recently hosted at the Beverly Hilton Hotel by television and film star James Denton and model and animal advocate Beth Stern, accompanied by a galaxy of celebrity stars and presenters including Josie Bissett, Lacey Chabert, Danielle Fishel, Vivica Fox, Daisy Fuentes, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bailee Madison, Kellie Martin, Debbie Matenopolous, Cameron Mathison, Danica McKellar, Brandon McMillan, Barbara Niven, Alexa and Carolos Penavega, Mark Steines, Alison Sweeney, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Alicia Witte and more. Jay Leno and Billy Crystal provided delightful pre-taped video skits.
Following nearly a million votes by the American public and the opinions of an expert panel of celebrity animal lovers and dog experts, Abigail, a one-year-old pit mix from Lehigh Acres, Florida has been named this year’s most courageous canine, besting 187 other heroic hounds and capturing the top title of “American Hero Dog” at the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards®. Abigail is a gal who did not ask for the life she was forced to live. She was found as a stray in Miami and taken to a rescue center where she was examined. She had multiple infections and was covered in dried mud. Experts suspected she was a victim of dog fighting.
The winner is chosen through a combination of public votes and voting by a panel of animal advocates and celebrity judges including Jennifer Arnold, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Prince Lorenzo Borghese, Philippe and Ashlan Gorse Cousteau, Carolyn Hennesy, Joanne Horowitz, Blake Koch, Bailee Madison, Adrienne Maloof, Agent Jerry Means, Laura Nativo, Shara Strand, Lisa Vanderpump, and Lou Wegner.
Abigail was the one chosen as 2017 American Hero Dog, but all seven finalists were winners in their categories, and we salute them for their courage, service and compassion. The categories include Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Service Dogs.