Joey Lawrence to Host Hallmark Channel's American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, Premiering 10/3
Beloved television and movie actor Joey Lawrence has been chosen to host an unusual and heart-warming national television special, joining a veritable galaxy of stars to celebrate some very special canines vying to become America's top dog.
The third annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation and produced by Emmy award-winning MRB Productions, will take place October 5 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Hollywood, and will air as a 90-minute special on Hallmark Channel October 30 as part of Hallmark Channel's Pet Project, the network's cross-platform advocacy campaign designed to celebrate the joy and enrichment animals bring to our lives, while addressing the country's epidemic of pet homelessness.
Americans across the country have cast more than one million ballots for their favorite heroic hounds at www.herodogawards.org and their votes will be combined with those of a celebrity panel to determine the top 2013 American Hero Dog. The culmination of this national campaign will be an outpouring of love and respect for the eight amazing finalists whose powerful stories of love, loyalty and sacrifice are the focal points of this unique and heart-warming effort. America will honor the nation's leading Hero Dogs in The Following eight categories: Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Service Dogs, Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs (ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things).
To help choose America's top dog, the public can now go to www.herodogawards.org and vote for their favorite once a day through September 26. Information about tickets, table sales and sponsorships for the gala and awards ceremony are also available by calling (866) 242-1877 or by clicking here.
The evening's host, Joey Lawrence, will be joined by luminaries and presenters including Betty White, Marlee Matlin, Jennifer Coolidge, Esai Morales, Ryan O'Neal, Naomi Judd, Pauley Perrette, Lisa Vanderpump, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Bailee Madison, Danielle Fishell, Lori Loughlin, Daphne Zuniga, Victoria Stillwell and many more.
"We are thrilled to welcome the wonderful Joey Lawrence as our host for the 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association. "Mr. Lawrence will bring his signature warmth, vitality and compassion to this important recognition of the spirit of heroism exemplified by these dogs who protect, comfort, and provide unconditional friendship and companionship to the sick, the infirm, our veterans and their families, and children facing difficulties."
Philadelphia-born actor Joey Lawrenceis one of the most widely recognized television and movie stars of his generation. He can currently be seen starring opposite Melissa Joan Hart on the eponymous sitcom Melissa & Joey and as the co-host of Splash, the reality series putting celebrities high above a pool to perform death-defying dives. Last year, he served as the Red Carpet Host for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards and was featured as an award presenter in the show's inaugural broadcast in 2011. He is well-known for his sitcom work, starring as Joey Russo on Blossom, Joey Donovan on Gimme a Break! and Joe Romano on Brotherly Love, where he was featured alongside his brothers, Matthew and Andrew Lawrence. In 2006, Mr. Lawrence placed third on Dancing with the Stars. Younger fans may know him as The Voice of the titular Oliver in the animated film Oliver & Company. Though he is well known on both the big and little screen, Mr. Lawrence has said his biggest passion is music, and released the hit albums Joey Lawrence and Soulmates in 1993 and 1997, respectively. His latest singles, "Rolled" and "Give it to Ya" are available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
"Joey Lawrence is a great friend of Hallmark Channel and I am so pleased he will host this year's Hero Dog Awards," said Bill Abbott, president and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. "His tremendous talent as an entertainer, his comedic timing and deep compassion for animals make him the perfect choice to lead this year's show."
"Heroes come in all sizes...and that's true whether they are humans or animals," said Lois Pope, founder and president of LIFE and The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and Chairman of the Disabled Veterans' for Life Memorial Foundation."It's an honor for me to once again be part of an event that pays tribute to those dogs who have demonstrated true courage, love and bravery, whether saving the lives of those in danger or improving the lives of those in need."
The 2013 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards Sponsors
American Humane Association is very grateful to the generous sponsors who have helped bring long-deserved recognition to our best friends: The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Hallmark Channel, MRB Productions, national online sponsor and Therapy Dog sponsor Zoetis, Military Dog sponsor Royal Canin, Law Enforcement and Arson Dog sponsor State Farm, Emerging Hero Dog sponsor Paul Mitchell Schools, Best Producer sponsor Merial and print sponsor Modern Dog magazine. Dogs may be mankind's best friends, but these caring organizations are theirs.
About American Humane Association
American Humane Association is the country's first national humane organization and the only one dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting our most vulnerable from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we're also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at www.americanhumane.org today.
About Lois Pope, The Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., and LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education)
Lois Pope is one of America's leading philanthropists and humanitarians. Through her various charitable mechanisms, including the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., she is devoted to saving lives, helping people help themselves, improving the quality of life for families in need and encouraging young Americans to become leaders by helping others. Her foundations also provide awards for medical research, college scholarships, humanitarian relief, the performing arts, and animal welfare.Among the many organizations that benefit from her leadership are American Humane Association; the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation, which she founded to spearhead the development of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, the nation's first and only permanent public tribute to the three million living disabled American veterans and the thousands who have died; the University of Miami, where her major contribution endowed the Lois Pope LIFE Center, the top catastrophic neurological research facility in the world and home to the renowned Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Leaders in Furthering Education, which has provided a Summer Camp experience for more than 15,000 disadvantaged and special needs children, as well as college scholarship support to dozens of disadvantaged high school students who ASPiRE to careers as physicians/researchers; Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's Red Cross, for new ambulances; and the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League for a new mobile pet adoption unit.