Honor the Hero in Your Animal's Life!

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For millions of Americans, animals are not just their best friends, but their heroes. Whether they are lending eyes to the unsighted, ears to the deaf, protection to the sleeping family and the soldier, or providing a welcoming kiss at the end of a hard day, animals affect us in so many different ways. And behind almost every hero pet (and millions more animals) is a hero veterinarian or hero veterinarian technician. These often little-known benefactors save and improve the lives of our two- and four-legged best friends in many ways, and now it is time to honor their achievements.

American Humane Association, the first national humane organization, recognizes the hard work these professionals put in day-in and day-out in the name of helping animals, and is pleased to announce that nominations will open on March 7 for the first-ever American Humane Association Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinarian Technician Awards, presented by Zoetis Inc. Pet owners and animal lovers alike are invited to visit herovetawards.org to nominate their favorite veterinary professionals who are dedicated to the betterment of the health and welfare of animals and the promotion of the human-animal bond. The winning veterinarian and vet tech will be flown to Los Angeles to be honored as part of the fourth annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards on September 27. The awards will be nationally televised.

But these awards are not limited to companion animal veterinarians. Professionals from all fields of veterinary medicine are eligible for entry including, but not limited to those who work in: research, emergency services, shelters, and those who work with large and exotic animals. The five finalists in the American Hero Veterinarian and American Hero Veterinarian Technician categories will be selected by a special blue-ribbon panel of judges consisting of celebrities, veterinary professionals, and animal care professionals. Beginning June 13, the American public will be invited to vote online for their favorite veterinarian and vet tech.

"We are excited to partner with American Humane Association for the American Humane Association Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinarian Technician Awards," said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Group Director of CAD Veterinary Operations at Zoetis. "We are deeply appreciative of everything the veterinary community does to benefit pets, farm animals, working animals, and more; these awards are our way of giving back. We cannot wait to meet the winners who will be shining examples of the heroic work done every day by our Hero Vets and Hero Vet Techs."

"Whether it's the kindly veterinarian or veterinary technician who is always there when our furry, winged, or scaled friends are sick, or the researchers in the lab, tirelessly working to find a cure for hip dysplasia or feline leukemia, veterinarians positively affect our animal friends in so many ways," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association's President and CEO. "To us, all vets and vet techs are heroes and this is why we want to honor the best of the best in their field."

Nominations for this innovative contest will open on Friday, March 7 and will be taken until April 23. To nominate a veterinarian or veterinarian technician, and for complete contest rules, please visit herovetawards.org.

Public Voting for America's Hero Dogs Also Opens March 7

March 7 also marks the first day of public voting for the 2014 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards, the annual national tribute to heroes on both ends of the leash. Please visit herodogawards.org to begin submitting your daily vote for your favorite dog in each of eight categories. Once again, Zoetis has graciously agreed to be the online sponsor for the 2014 Hero Dog Awards.