LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Southwest Louisiana's celebrity canine is getting national recognition.
Jeanie, a well-known Lake Charles therapy dog, is one of only 21 courageous canines to be advancing to the semifinal rounds of the 2018 American Humane Hero Dog Awards.
Jeanie was once homeless and crippled. She went from rescue to certified therapy dog. She comforts children who are questioned by forensic investigators in physical and sexual abuse cases, violent crimes and even homicides. She and her owner volunteer at hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and veterans' homes where Jeanie bonds with fellow amputees.
She is a part of the Dr. Dog's Pet Therapy group, therapy dogs that go to hospitals like St. Pat's and the Lake Charles Children's Museum.
Jeanie now advances from a field of 266 candidates, and the public is invited to visit www.HeroDogAwards.org between now and Jul. 11 to vote once per day for their favorite in one of the seven Hero Dog categories. The seven finalists will be flown to Los Angeles to take part in the eighth annual Hero Dog Awards gala on Sep. 29 at the Beverly Hilton. One will be chosen as the 2018 American Hero Dog – the top honor a dog can receive.
In both the semifinal and final rounds, the winners will be determined through a combination of votes by the public and a special celebrity judging panel. New judges this year represent a variety of celebrity dog lovers, including Miranda Lambert, Kristin Chenoweth, Carson Kressley, Carrie Ann Inaba and Erik Estrada. Returning judges include Lisa Vanderpump.
The top dogs in each category will win $2,500 for their designated charity partner and the winning 2018 American Hero Dog's charity partner will receive an additional $5,000 for a grand total of $7,500.
The seven categories are: Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Military Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, and Guide/Hearing Dogs.
To read all the semifinalists' nominations and to vote daily in the 2018 American Humane HeroDog Awards®, please visit www.herodogawards.org.