HONOLULU (KHON2) — The first round of voting is now open for the 2022 American Humane Hero Dog Awards. The public can now vote on which three dogs of more than 300 nominees will move on as semi-finalists in each of the seven categories of this year’s competition.

The seven categories for 2022 are Law Enforcement and Detection Dogs, Military Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs, Shelter Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, and Guide/Hearing Dogs.

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This fall, the dog with the most votes in each category will appear at the star-studded Hero Dog Awards gala on November 11 in Palm Beach, Florida where one of the seven will be named the 2022 American Hero Dog.

“Whether it’s saving lives on the battlefield, lending sight or hearing to a human companion, or locating missing persons, dogs do so much to improve and even save our lives every day,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane.“ The Hero Dog Awards is our way of celebrating the power of the human-animal bond, which has been a core part of our organization’s mission for 145 years. We hope you will join us in recognizing our nation’s furry heroes.”

This year Oliver Twist, a shelter dog, from Volcano Hawaii has made the list. Oliver was found on the side of the road and was brought to the MSPCA. At the time Oliver only weighed 2 pounds and had a puncture wound on his head.

Reports showed if he had been found an hour later, he probably wouldn’t have survived. At first, it was believed Oliver would likely not be potty trained or able to do any training due to his head injury however that has been further from the truth.

Oliver is amazing at communicating his wants and needs and loves to meet new friends, both human and other animals. Oliver’s adopted parent has PTSD and said having Oliver around has helped them with severe panic attacks by getting them out of situations that may be triggering. 

To cast your vote for Oliver’s head to American Humane Hero Dog Award’s website and fill out their online form. You can also browse around looking at the other nominated outstanding dogs. 

Key dates for the 2022 American Humane Hero Dog Awards® contest include:

  • 1st Round Voting: April 5 – May 18
  • 2nd Round Voting: June 2 – July 22
  • 3rd Round Voting: August 5 – September 13
  • Hero Dog Awards Gala: November 11, 2022

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All rounds open and close at noon, Pacific Time.