Five Local Dogs Nominated for American Humane Hero Dog Awards

The Pittsburgh area dogs represent the city in four of the seven categories


To many pet lovers, their dogs already are heroes — but this contest makes it official. 

Five dogs in the Pittsburgh area have been nominated for the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards. The annual competition seeks to recognize “ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things.”

The contest includes seven categories: Law Enforcement and Detection Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs, Guided/Hearing Dogs and Shelter Dogs. 

In October, the winner from each category will be recognized on national television and one dog will take home the 2021 American Hero Dog Award.

Representing Pittsburgh 


Penny, who was nominated in 2020, is once again up for the big award. Penny is a therapy dog who has aided hundreds of domestic abuse victims since 2010. She also was the first dog in the state to provide canine court services and has largely impacted the approach of canine therapy for victims of abuse.

To vote for Penny in the Therapy Dog category, visit here.

Boone 2

Also representing the Therapy Dog section is Boone, who lost two legs to animal abuse as a puppy. Boone is now an ambassador for the nonprofit Joey’s P.A.W. (Prosthetics and Wheels), which has provided more than 700 dogs with mobility devices.

To vote for Boone in the Therapy Dog category, visit here.


Caramel is a guide dog nominated within the Guided/Hearing category. Caramel has helped her owner for many years. When her owner became further visually impaired in 2019, Caramel helped accommodate the additional needs.

To vote for Caramel in the Guide/Hearing Dog category, visit here.


Clover is nominated in the Service Dog category. Clover has assisted her owner for the past two years with sensory processing disorder and other autism-related disabilities. She has transformed the life of her owner, who went from being intimidated by trips to the grocery store to flying on a plane for the first time.

To vote for Clover in the Service Dog category, visit here.


Last but not least, Beauty is nominated in the Shelter category. Beauty is a pit bull who was severely malnourished and neglected before she was rescued in 2008. Since then, Beauty and her owner have worked to change the narratives surrounding her breed and to teach people that pit bulls can be full of love and affection.

To vote for Beauty in the Shelter category, visit here.

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