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2017 ACE Winner (Service Dog Category): Great Pyrenees, “Gunner”

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is excited to announce that its popular special, AKC Heroes: 2021 Awards for Canine Excellence, is coming to ESPN2 this December. This broadcast is scheduled to air on December 2nd at 11pm ET. The program will re-air multiple times on ESPN Networks (check local listings) and will be available for on-demand viewing on the ESPN App. The show will cover the stories of this year’s AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) winners. These annual awards celebrate loyal, hard-working dogs that have significantly improved the lives of their owners and/or communities.

This one-hour special will take a deep dive into the stories of these five remarkable dogs and why they were selected as this year’s honorees in their respective categories from a pool of nearly 1,000 nominations. The five award categories include: Exemplary Companion, Search and Rescue, Service Dog, Therapy Dog, and Uniformed Service K-9.

Hosting the broadcast is Sportscaster, Carolyn Manno with commentary from AKC Executive Secretary, Gina DiNardo and AKC Gazette Managing Editor, Bud Boccone.

“It is no surprise that these five wonderful dogs were selected as this year’s ACE winners,” said Gina DiNardo, Executive Secretary of the American Kennel Club. “Each of their unique stories is testament to the endless ways dogs impact our lives every day. We are honored to be able to highlight these special dogs on ESPN2 with this broadcast.”

ACE award recipients in each category will receive $1,000 to be awarded to a pet-related charity of their choice, a one-year supply of Eukanuba dog food, and an engraved sterling silver medallion. The 2021 AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence are proudly sponsored by EUKANUBA™ premium dog nutrition.

Mark your calendars now for AKC Heroes: 2021 Awards for Canine Excellence airing on ESPN2 and the ESPN app on December 2nd at 11pm ET. Check your local listings for multiple re-airs on ESPN networks.