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On October 6, Elle the pitbull was chosen by celebrity judges (which included Whoopi Goldberg, Kristin Chenoweth and Miranda Lambert among others) as 2013's Hero Dog at the 3rd Annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. The black tie event was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
Elle, from Roanoke Rapids, NC, was recognized for her achievements in helping teach children about dog safety and overcoming prejudice and stereotypes. Pitbulls, a dog breed often incorrectly associated with violence and aggression, can actually be some of the sweetest dogs out there. Elle is a perfect example.
Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of the American Humane Association, spoke about how difficult it was to choose a winner, "These courageous canines have gone above and beyond the call of duty, saving lives on the battlefield, comforting the ill, aged and afflicted, bringing hope to those who have lost it and reminding us of the powerful, age-old bond between animals and people. Choosing a top dog is difficult because they are all so terrific, but we are proud to announce Elle as the top American Hero Dog for 2013. As an organization that for years has fought breed-specific legislation (BSL), we are also pleased to honor a breed that has been often been unjustly maligned. We hope that Elle's story will help to underscore the many tremendously positive qualities of this breed." (PR)
Elle was the ultimate winner, but finalists in other categories (Elle won Therapy Dog) are just as impressive. For example, Jingles, a golden/lab mix diabetic alert canine from Amsterdam, NY won the Guide Dog category and Carlos, a yellow lab retriever who served for five years in the U.S. Special Forces, completing multiple campaigns in Baghdad and Afghanistan, won the Military Dog category. There are so many more heroic pups, and you can find out more about the finalists on the Hero Dog Awards website.
According to looktothestars.org, there is an extensive list of other celebrities who have supported the American Humane Society including Reese Witherspoon, Zac Efron, Keira Knightley, Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and many, many more.
The Hero Dog Awards will air on the Hallmark Channel on October 30 8 p.m./7 p.m. central.
Photo: Press Release