To celebrate the dogs who do extraordinary things in the service of humankind, the AKC Humane Fund is seeking nominations for its AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). Nominations are now open and winners will be announced in fall 2017.
Each year, the AKC Humane Fund pays tribute to five dedicated, hardworking dogs for making significant contributions to an individual or entire community. Since its creation in 2000, 85 ACE awards have been presented to dogs of various breeds, including one mixed-breed dog, from states across the nation. Former ACE recipients have included a police K-9 who uncovered the work of a serial killer and a family pet (Haus, pictured above) who fought for his life after saving a 7-year-old girl from a rattlesnake, among dozens of other incredible pups.
“There are countless dogs that improve the lives of individuals and communities across the nation each and every day,” said Gina DiNardo, American Kennel Club executive secretary and director of the AKC Humane Fund. “These remarkable canines touch the hearts of many and deserve to be recognized for their selfless acts. We are proud to honor five of these canine heroes each year with an ACE Award.”
One award is given in each of the following five categories:
Uniformed Service K-9
Eligibility: Full-time working K-9s in the realms of city, county, state or federal law enforcement; the military; firefighting; customs and border patrol; emergency services.
Eligibility: Dogs without formal training or certification that have nonetheless distinguished themselves in some way and have made a meaningful contribution to their owners or communities.
Search and Rescue
Eligibility: Dogs certified to assist in wilderness and urban tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events and locating missing people.
Eligibility: Certified therapy dogs working in hospitals, schools, disaster sites, war zones and wherever else the affection of a good dog can provide comfort.
Eligibility: Certified service dogs who enrich the lives of physically or mentally disabled owners. Including but not limited to guide dogs for the blind, seizure-alert dogs, hearing dogs, balance dogs.
(Note: Nominees doing service or therapy work without certification are considered in the Exemplary Companion category.)
Honorees will receive an engraved sterling-silver medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip for dog and owner to Orlando, Florida, to be honored at the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin in December. A donation of $1,000 will also be made in each recipient’s name to the pet-related charity of their choice. The names of the five recipients will be added to the ACE plaque on permanent display in the AKC Humane Fund Library at AKC headquarters in New York City.
Anyone, including the dog’s owner or handler, may submit a nomination form. Submissions for the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence for 2017 must include:
- A non-returnable, original print or digital photograph of the dog. All digital photos must be larger than 1MB in size and a minimum of 300 dpi. The photo should feature solely the nominated dog.
- A 500-word-or-less description of how the dog has demonstrated excellence.
- Dog’s call name, breed, age and sex.
- Owner’s/nominator’s name(s), address and phone number. E-mail address if available.
For more information about the ACE awards or to download a nomination form visit the AKC Humane Fund website.