Tales of heroic animals often strike a chord, perhaps because they remind us of the sacrifices made by people to help others in need—actions that often result in rightful public recognition of the heroes. There’s something in these animal stories that prompts us to realize there’s more going on mentally and emotionally with animals than our society has often acknowledged or cared to admit.
That’s why The HSUS created the Dogs of Valor Award—to give special recognition to some of these unsung canine heroes. This week, you can vote for your favorite dog in our fourth annual Dogs of Valor Awards. [Editor's Note: Voting has now closed.]
Reading the stories of these intrepid animals, you can’t help but feel a sense of admiration and wonder. We all know that dogs are loyal and affectionate, but these dogs employed their senses and intelligence and married them with courage to protect their families and other people in crisis.
Our Dogs of Valor finalists alerted their families to dangerous intruders, medical emergencies, fires, and other deadly hazards, often putting themselves at risk in the process. The largest dogs and the smallest dogs alike showed what any of us, within the human family, would recognize as bravery and altruism.
Be sure to read about of the Dogs of Valor finalists and vote for your favorite this week. You can vote once a day until 5 p.m. Eastern this Friday. The dog who receives the most votes will receive the People’s Hero award. By voting, you’ll also have a chance to win a $100 Humane Domain gift certificate in a random drawing.
In addition, our panel of celebrity judges, including actors Charlotte Ross, Chris Riggi, and Jon Prescott, will choose the Valor Dog of the Year and two runners-up. We’ll announce all the winners on our website on March 14.
All of these stories are inspiring, and each of these animals reminds us that other creatures possess so many qualities we once thought were reserved to humans. In the end, this litany of stories should inspire us to engage in some reciprocity—with humans getting in on the action and helping to save other creatures at risk.