America’s First Ever National Hero Dog Awards

MANHATTAN, N.Y., June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — To celebrate the heroic dogs in our lives, CESAR® Canine Cuisine joined forces with “Footloose” star Julianne Hough to visit with patients and therapy dogs at the VA Medical Center-Manhattan / New York Harbor Healthcare System today, kicking off the voting campaign for the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ presented by CESAR® Canine Cuisine.

The Hero Dog Awards celebrates the thousands of dogs making a difference to people in need every day by providing compassion, comfort and transforming lives with their tenderness and intuition. Hero dogs come in all sizes and breeds. They are therapy dogs, hearing dogs, military dogs, service dogs, guide dogs, search and rescue dogs, law enforcement dogs and ordinary dogs doing extraordinary things. No matter how big or small, a Hero Dog provides unconditional love and support for those that need it most.

“I am thrilled to be working with CESAR and American Humane Association to raise awareness and celebrate these amazing dogs,” said Hough. “My two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels mean the absolute world to me, so I know how powerful the relationship with a dog can be, and I’m happy to be involved in such a great cause.”

Based on the shared belief that having a relationship with a dog can improve every life, CESAR Canine Cuisine and the American Humane Association have partnered to shine a spotlight on these heroic therapy dogs who genuinely transform lives. Through the Hero Dog Awards, they will ensure that people in need continue to receive the powerful benefits of a dog’s love with therapy dogs.

“Julianne is a passionate dog lover who truly understands the importance of the human-animal bond, just like we do at CESAR,” said Tierney Monaco, director, CESAR Canine Cuisine. “This cause is so close to our hearts, and we are excited to have found such a compassionate person to help us share the love and bring awareness to therapy dogs and the Hero Dog program,” Monaco added.

SPREAD THE LOVE: Beginning today, dog lovers can log on to and vote for a hero dog whose story touches them. For every vote, CESAR Canine Cuisine will make a donation to American Humane Association to help provide more specially trained animal assistance therapy dogs to people who need them most. By voting for nominated dogs in the Hero Dog Awards, the public can participate in an exciting opportunity to truly make a difference in thousands of lives. Once finalists are determined, they will fly to Hollywood to walk the red carpet and be recognized at the celebrity-studded awards show on October 1, 2011 when the winning Hero Dog will be announced. The awards show will be televised on Hallmark Channel on Veterans Day, November 11, 2011.

“Championing American values of caring, compassion and hope, the Hero Dog Awards celebrate the dogs we love and the people who interact with them on a daily basis,” said American Humane Association president and chief executive officer, Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D. “Through our work with CESAR on this program we aim to elevate the status of dogs in society by honoring that inextricable link between dogs and people, strengthening the human-animal bond.”

During her visit to the VA Medical Center-Manhattan, Hough spent time meeting one-on-one with patients and therapy dogs nominated for the Hero Dog Awards from The Good Dog Foundation, one of 18 charity partners, and also delivered an intimate acoustic performance for the hospital staff and military veterans.

A pet lover with two dogs named “Lexi” and “Harley,” Julianne Hough is known to millions as the two-time professional dance champion on TV’s “Dancing with the Stars.” In 2008, she released her self-titled debut album, which topped the Billboard Country charts, earned her two Academy of Country Music Awards and established her career as a country musician. In 2010, she made her big screen debut in the star-studded ensemble cast of “Burlesque.” Hough will next be seen starring in the remake of “Footloose” and is currently in production on “Rock of Ages” as the female lead opposite Tom Cruise and an all-star cast.

Download photos and video(s) from the event by visiting CESAR® Canine Cuisine PR site

About CESAR® Canine Cuisine
CESAR® Canine Cuisine is an exceptional line of high-quality cuisine and treats for small to medium sized dogs. We offer individually prepared entrees available in two textures, original pate and gourmet filets in sauce. From filet mignon flavor to CESAR SUNRISE® breakfast entrees, CESAR® Canine Cuisine features a variety of irresistible flavors and caters to the tastes of small to medium sized dogs. New to the product line are CESAR® Treats award-winning Pet Food Product of the Year for 2010, CESAR® Treats, available in soft and chewy textures and a variety of flavors. Visit to learn more.

About Mars Petcare US
Mars Petcare US is the U.S. operations of the world’s largest petcare company at the privately-held, family-owned Mars, Incorporated. Mars Petcare US produces some of the world’s most beloved pet care brands, including PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, CESAR® Canine Cuisine, WHISKAS® Food for Cats, and THE GOODLIFE RECIPE® Brand. Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., more than 2,700 Mars Petcare US associates make, sell and distribute its high-quality pet food from 16 manufacturing facilities located in communities across the U.S. For more information, please visit

About American Humane Association
Since 1877, American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals 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 today.

About The Good Dog Foundation
Founded in 1998, The Good Dog Foundation provides therapy dog services to people in need in health care, social service, educational and community facilities in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and at disaster sites around the country. The highly trained, all volunteer, human/dog teams offer exceptional, healing services. A non-profit organization, The Good Dog Foundation advances research and promotes awareness about the benefits of the human/animal bond. For more information please visit

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SOURCE Mars Petcare US

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