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Heroes, like dogs, come in all shapes and sizes. Over the last decade, thousands of dog lovers have nominated special canines for the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). ACE nominees range from skilled assistance dogs and law enforcement K-9s that keep U.S. citizens safe to Search & Rescue dogs who have aided in recovery missions and Therapy dogs who provided much needed comfort in the wake of tragic national events such as the Oklahoma City bombing, the attacks on 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Equally important are the companions who aspire to be champion leg warmers at the foot of their owner’s bed at night.

Each Year ACE honorees are recognized nationally and five dogs are chosen who have performed an exemplary act or series of acts, whether large or seemingly small, that have significantly benefited a community or individual.  One award is given in the following five categories: law enforcement, search and rescue, therapy, service, and exemplary companion dog.  Honorable Mentions are awarded to outstanding entries in each category.

An ACE nomination is a prestigious way to pay tribute to the canines who devote their lives to making ours better. In addition to the prestige of being chosen from hundreds of entries, each of the five honorees receives a cash award of $1,000, an engraved sterling silver collar medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip for dog and owner to Long Beach, Calif., to be honored at the tenth annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in December 2010.  The engraved names of the five recipients will also be added to the ACE plaque that is on permanent display in the AKC’s Library in New York City. Dogs receiving honorable mention will be awarded an engraved bronze medallion. 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.  Submissions for the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence for 2010 must include:

  • A non-returnable, original photograph of the dog. Hi-resolution electronic photos provided on a disc are permissible but not scans. (electronic requirements: 300dpi and at least 5×7 inches or, 72dpi at least 20×30 inches)
  • A 500-word-or-less description of how the dog has demonstrated excellence.
  • Dog’s call name, registered name if applicable, breed, age and sex.
  • Owner/Nominator name(s), address, phone number. E-mail address if available.


*Please note that to be considered, dogs are not required to be AKC registered but must be an AKC recognized breed.

Nominations will be accepted until June 30, 2010 and should be sent to:

Ronald N. Rella: ACE Awards 2010
c/o The American Kennel Club 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