To celebrate the dogs that do extraordinary things in the service of humankind, the AKC Humane Fund is seeking YOUR nominations for its 2018 AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). Entries are now being accepted and award recipients will be announced in the fall. For inspiration, check out the winners from the past five years in the slideshow above!
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, 90 ACE awards have been presented to dogs of various breeds from states across the nation. Former ACE recipients have included a police K-9 that uncovered the work of a serial killer, a Search and Rescue dog that helped provide closure to grieving families, and a family pet that fought for his life after saving a 7-year-old girl from a rattlesnake.
“Each dog that is nominated for an ACE Award is truly special in the heart of an individual or community,” says Doug Ljungren, President of the AKC Humane Fund. “These canine heroes have improved the lives of many and we’re proud to honor five of them each year with this award, which celebrates the human-canine bond.”
One award is given in each of the following 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 that 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 will be placed in the Exemplary Companion category.)
Honorees receive an engraved sterling-silver medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip for dog and owner to Orlando, Fla., where they will be recognized 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 2018 AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence 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 solely feature 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.