American Hero Dog of the year now open for entries; see how you can nominate your furry friend

American Hero Dog announcement
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MacKenzie the dog
A Chihuahua who weighs only four pounds but gives away tons of love was named the country’s most heroic canine and captured the top title at the 2020 American Humane Hero Dog Awards®: 10th Anniversary Celebration. To read more about MacKenize, click on the photo of her.

American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, has announced the official start of the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards® campaign, an annual, year-long campaign that seeks to identify and honor the best of our best friends.

Dog owners across the country are invited to visit and nominate their heroic hound in one of seven categories.

This fall, the top dog in each category will appear at the nationally televised, star-studded, red-carpet awards gala and one of the seven will be named the American Hero Dog of the year – the most prestigious honor a canine can receive when the campaign culminates with the premiere of the “American Humane Hero Dog Awards” on Hallmark Channel.

The two-hour special, now in its 11th year, is broadcast in conjunction with the network’s pet adoption advocacy initiative, Hallmark Channel’s Adoption Ever After, which aims to empty the shelters and end this country’s epidemic of pet homelessness.

The seven categories for 2021 are:

  • Law Enforcement and Detection Dogs,
  • Military Dogs,
  • Therapy Dogs,
  • Service Dogs,
  • Shelter Dogs,
  • Search and Rescue Dogs
  • Guide/Hearing Dogs.

The nomination period ends on March 2.  Semifinalists (the top three in each category) will be chosen in a first round of voting by the public. The second round, featuring a combination of public and celebrity judge voting, will narrow the field to seven category finalists who will then vie, through a final round of public and celebrity judge voting, for the title of 2021 American Hero Dog.

During the past 10 years, Americans have cast millions of votes for thousands of dogs, all seeking the coveted title of American Hero Dog.

Key dates for the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards contest include:


Jan. 6 – March 2

1st Round Voting: 

March 25 – May 6

2nd Round Voting: 

May 27 – July 15

3rd Round Voting: 

July 29 – September 7

Hero Dog Awards gala: 

Coming this fall

All rounds open and close at 12 p.m. Pacific Time.

More information about the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards, including complete contest rules and entry information, can be obtained by visiting and on Facebook and Twitter.

About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization, founded in 1877. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: American Humane