WASHINGTON, DC, October 15, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of the American Humane Association, is passionate about animals of all types. She recognizes the great potential that they hold and the need for their protection. People bond with animals in a special way; dogs have long lived up to their reputation as "man's best friend." They live to please and receive affection.---
In an effort to honor these amazing animals for their extraordinary achievements, Dr. Robin Ganzert created the American Hero Dog Awards. This year there were 141 nominees who were considered for the designation of 2013 American Hero Dog. More than a million Americans, along with celebrity judges such as Kristin Chenoweth and Miranda Lambert, cast their votes. The dog who came out on top was Elle, a therapy dog from North Carolina.
Elle is a brown pit bull who, along with her owner Leah Brewer, founded "Tail Wagging Tales." This reading program allows students at Vaughan Elementary School and Chaloner Middle School to take time to read aloud to Elle. Each student is given 20 minutes to read to her while she lends a comforting ear and helps them to build their confidence. Though people often have the perception that pit bulls are aggressive toward people, Elle proves that she is anything but. Cuddling up to students, she shows that pit bulls can provide beneficial therapy and comfort.
Discussing the awards, Dr. Robin Ganzert explains, "The American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the most extraordinary heroes the world has ever known, the very best of our 'best friends' - ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things." The choice was difficult, as there were many deserving dogs nominated. Other contenders included: Cassidy, a three-legged dog who visits children with disabilities in rehabilitation centers; Lola, a guide dog for an individual who is deaf; K9 Lakota, a retired police dog who was injured in a car accident; SD Bronx, a service dog who aids his 14-year-old owner who struggles with seizures; Carlos, an explosive detector dog who worked in the Middle East; and John D, a rescue dog who can detect cancer in patients through scent.
"All of the dogs who were nominated have phenomenal stories of service," says Dr. Robin Ganzert. "This is a fantastic awakening to see a pit bull win as the dog community struggles with issues surrounding what to do with breeds that have a bad reputation."
The finalists and their owners were flown to Los Angeles where they were honored at an awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The event was hosted by actor Joey Lawrence and will air as a 90-minute special on the Hallmark Channel called "Hero Dog Awards" on October 30th. Dr. Robin Ganzert encourages the public to watch and learn more about the amazing feats of these ordinary dogs.
Dr. Robin Ganzert has confidently led the American Humane Association since 2010 as the president and CEO. With a wealth of leadership and business experience, she has transformed the institution into a more relevant and robust organization. In addition to the Hero Dog Awards, other program initiatives that she has spearheaded include: No Animals Were Harmed, Red Star, Wags4Patriots, and the Humane Heroes Club. Dr. Ganzert is passionate about protecting the welfare and well-being of animals and children everywhere, as well as exploring the potential of the child-animal bond.
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