To celebrate the dogs who do extraordinary things in the service of humankind, the AKC Humane Fund is seeking YOUR nominations for its AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). Nominations are now open and winners will be announced in Fall 2016.
Each year, the AKC Humane Fund pays tribute to five dedicated, hardworking dogs for making significant contributions to an individual or entire community. Since the creation of the awards in 2000, 80 ACEs have been awarded to dogs of 32 different breeds and one mixed-breed dog from 28 states. Former ACE dogs have included a police K-9 who uncovered the work of a serial killer and a family pet who saved her owner from a bear attack, among dozens of other incredible pups.
“There are so many dynamic dogs to recognize with an ACE Award,” said AKC Spokesperson Gina DiNardo. “These canines touch the lives and hearts of those who love them and the world around them. We are proud to honor five of them each year with an ACE Award as a symbol of our appreciation.”
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 who have nonetheless distinguished themselves in some way that has made a meaningful contribution to the life of his owner or community.
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 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.
All entrants will receive an ACE Certificate of Recognition in acknowledgement of their nomination.
Anyone, including the dog’s owner or handler, may submit a nomination form. Submissions for the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence for 2016 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.
ACE Awards 2016
The AKC Humane Fund
260 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, New York 10016
For more information about the ACE awards or to download a nomination form visit the AKC website.
Last year's winners included a Service Dog named George. George is a Great Dane owned by Rachel Burton of Woburn, MA. George helps 11-year-old Bella Burton with her mobility, as she suffers from the genetic disorder Morquio syndrome.
See George and Bella in the video below:
To read more about George and Bella's inspiring story click here.
For more information on the ACE Awards and to nominate the hero dog in your life, click here.