Published On: Thu, Dec 1st, 2022

American Humane Honors Nation’s Most Heroic Canines at the 2022 American Humane Hero Dog Awards® Gala

Palm Beach, FL – American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, hosted the American Humane Hero Dog Awards Gala, chaired by internationally renowned philanthropist, Lois Pope, at the glamorous Eau Palm Beach Resort in Manalapan, Florida on November 11, 2022.

The star-studded event, featuring international music legend Michael Bolton and celebrity host and emcee Carson Kressley, honored the seven category winners of the 2022 Hero Dog Awards and ultimately revealed Ethan as the top American Humane Hero Dog. 

“The Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the world’s most extraordinary heroes,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “This year’s finalists, who may have undergone training such as, have gone above and beyond the call of duty, saving lives on the battlefield, comforting children, and seniors, and inspiring us to overcome our own challenges. All are heroes, but I am overjoyed to congratulate Ethan on winning this year’s top title. We hope his story will encourage people to value our animal friends and recognize the healing power of the human-animal bond.”

Based on more than one million votes by the American public and the deliberations of a VIP panel of dog experts and celebrity animal lovers, Ethan who was left for dead on a cold January day in 2021 and was nominated in the Shelter Dogs category sponsored by Lulu’s Fund, was named this year’s American Hero Dog, the highest honor in all the canine world. Also in attendance at the gala were the other category winners of the 2022 Hero Dog Awards including:

  • K9 Riggs, the 2022 Law Enforcement and Detection Hero Dog from Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Recon, the 2022 Service Hero Dog from Suffolk, Virginia, sponsored by Window World
  • Cole the Deaf Dog, the 2022 Therapy Hero Dog from Millville, New Jersey, sponsored by American Airlines
  • Iiken M090, the 2022 Military Hero Dog from Casa Grande, Arizona
  • Keb, the 2022 Search and Rescue Hero Dog from Edmonds, Washington
  • Kinley, the 2022 Guide/Hearing Dog from Austin, Texas

Attendees of the Gatsby-themed affair enjoyed music from multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Michael Bolton, as well as entertainment provided by the Danny Beck Band. Emmy-winning television star Carson Kressley, who hosted the inaugural broadcast of the Hero Dog Awards, returned to host the 12th annual event.

Sponsors and notable guests, including gala chair Lois Pope; American Humane Chairman John Payne and, wife, Nancy Payne; American Humane board members Dawn Assenzio, Amanda Bowman, Nelva Bryant, Sharon Jablin, Rear Admiral Tom Kearney (ret.), Herb Krauss, Marilyn Pelstring, Larry Strickland, Abigail Trenk and David Webb, among multitudes of others, walked the red carpet and greeted each of the Hero Dogs.

Ethan and all the category winners will be featured in a special Hero Dog Awards broadcast, airing on Circle Network on December 6 at 9 p.m. ET. The show will be sure to delight and inspire dog lovers across the country.

About American Humane

American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, overseeing the humane treatment of more than one billion animals across the globe each year. Founded in 1877, American Humane has been First to Serve™ the cause of animals and for 145 years has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the humane movement. For more information or to support our lifesaving work, please visit, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and subscribe to our channel on YouTube for the latest breaking news and features about the animals with whom we share our Earth.

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