The 3rd Annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards will be hosted by Melissa and Joey star, Joey Lawrence, this Saturday, October 5th at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

The beloved television and movie actor has been suitably chosen to host the unusual and heart-warming national television special, joining a veritable galaxy of stars including Jennifer Coolidge, Bailee Madison and Naomi Judd, to celebrate some very special canines vying to become America’s top dog.

Special celebrity guest, Betty White, will attend the event, along with the night’s special honoree, Miranda Lambert. The featured musical performer will be Frankie Moreno.

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 celebrity panel will include Whoopi Goldberg, Kristin Chenoweth, Michelle Forbes, J.R. Martinez, Megyn Price, Prince Lorenzo Borghese,Tinsley Mortimer, Blake Koch and Kristin Bauer Van Straten, among others.

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).

Also expected to come out and honor the canine heroes are Lori Loughlin, Lisa Vanderpump, Danielle Fishel, Brian Baumgartner, Ryan O’Neal, Eric Christian Olsen, Victoria Stilwell, Redmond O’Neal, Daphne Zuniga, Pauley Perrette, Emanuelle Vaugier, Esai Morales, Austin Stowell and Matt Leinart.

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 air as a 90-minute special on Hallmark Channel on October 30th 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.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the gala, please visit: www.herodogawards.org.

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