Calling All Canine Heroes! Nominate a Dog for an AKC Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence!

To celebrate the dogs who do extraordinary things in the service of humankind, the AKC Humane FundSM is seeking YOUR nominations for its AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). Nominations are open now through July 31st and winners will be announced in late 2021. The 2021 Awards for Canine Excellence will be covered on AKC.tv.

Each year, the AKC Humane Fund honors five dedicated, hardworking dogs for making significant contributions to an individual or entire community.  Since its creation in 2000, 105 ACE awards have been presented. Former ACE recipients have included a Flat-Coated Retriever that excels at dock diving despite missing a paw and a family pet who fought for his life protecting a seven-year-old from a rattlesnake, among dozens of other remarkable dogs.

“There are countless dogs that touch the hearts of people every day,” said Doug Ljungren, President of the AKC Humane Fund. “These incredible canines impact the lives of individuals and communities across the nation and so many deserve to be recognized with these awards. We are proud to honor five of these canine heroes each year with an ACE Award in recognition of their contributions.”

One award is given in each of the following five 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.

Exemplary Companion

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.

Therapy

Eligibility: Certified therapy dogs working in hospitals, schools, disaster sites, war zones, and wherever else the affection of a good dog can provide comfort.

Service

Eligibility: Service dogs who 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 therapy work without certification are considered in the Exemplary Companion category.)

Honorees of the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) will receive $1,000 to be awarded to a pet-related charity of their choice, a one-year supply of Eukanuba premium dog nutrition, and an engraved sterling silver medallion.

Anyone, including the dog’s owner or handler, may submit a nomination. Submissions for the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence for 2021 must include:

  • A digital photograph of the dog. Files must be larger than 1MB in size and a minimum of 300 dpi. The photo should feature solely 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, phone number and e-mail address.

Nominations will be accepted through July 31, 2021 and should be submitted here, with a photo sent to communications@akc.org.

For more information about the ACE awards or to nominate a dog, visit the AKC Humane Fund Awards For Canine Excellence (ACE) page.

By Samantha Seymour