America's most heroic dogs have just been named by a panel of dog lovers and experts, along with nearly 1 million public votes, for the
2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards
The awards, which have been given over the past four years, honor courageous dogs who go above and beyond the call of duty, and/or who have overcome immense adversity.
"It is an honor to support an effort to recognize the valor of our 'best friends,'" said Lois Pope, who has been the awards' presenting sponsor over all four years.
"From those who defend our country to those who help us heal, guide us, protect us, and help find the lost, every single contender exemplifies the courage and heroism we seek to spotlight in the Hero Dog Awards campaign," she added. "Through this national forum we have helped educate America about the lifesaving, life-affirming work of our nation's canine heroes."
One of the honored dogs is Harley, who was abused for 10 years while living in a small cage in a puppy mill. Current owner Rudi Taylor rescued Harley, who suffered from heart problems, a fused spine, a broken tail, gnarled toes, deformed legs, and tooth and gum disease.
After receiving health care, Harley now helps other formerly abused dogs, both indirectly, through the campaign
"Harley to the Rescue,"
and directly with site visits.
Taylor said, "There is something indescribable in the way he communicates with the sad and scared dogs."