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March 10, 2010

Dogs of Valor: Vote for the People's Hero

Last month I asked you to vote for your favorite dog who has appeared in film or television, with a lucky participant getting a chance to win tickets to the 24th Genesis Awards, which is scheduled for March 20 in Beverly Hills (tickets are still available). Today I’d like you to do some additional voting—for the dog who has exhibited the most heroic behavior to help a person.

Calamity Jane, one of the HSUS Dogs of Valor finalists.
Homer and Shar Pauley
Calamity Jane, one of the Dogs of Valor
finalists. Vote for your People's Hero>>

Now in its third year, The HSUS’s Dogs of Valor awards celebrate the human-animal bond by honoring dogs who have engaged in remarkable acts of altruism, courage, and intelligence. Dogs are our friends, but they can also be our saviors, and the list of 100 nominees provides plenty of support for that proposition.

We’ve now narrowed down the list to 10 finalists who did everything from alerting their families to fires, gas leaks, or medical emergencies, and even helped out to blunt a frightening home invasion.

Enjoy this year’s stories and, before 5:00 p.m. ET this Friday, March 12, be sure to vote for the one dog who you think is most extraordinary. When you do, you’ll be entered to win a $100 certificate to our online store Humane Domain. Stay tuned to where this Sunday we’ll announce the winners. We’ve enlisted a panel of dog-loving judges, including film and TV star Kristin Bell who appeared on the hit show “Heroes,” Sally Pressman of the Lifetime series “Army Wives,” and Jay Kopelman, a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel whose books “From Baghdad With Love” and “From Baghdad to America” recount his struggles to bring a stray puppy home to America and their efforts to adjust to life after Iraq. The judges will decide on the Valor Dog of the Year award and two runners up.

As in the past, I was touched to learn that many of this year’s nominees were former discards, adopted or rescued by their families. Inspired by each animal’s heroic actions, our judge Sally Pressman told us, “These stories made me tear up, gasp and just have all new respect and appreciation for all dogs. I'm so glad to be a part of this.”

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