Sign In

Hero Dogs

May 29, 2020

Two Mid-Missouri dogs remain in the hunt for recognition as national heroes.

Olive and Sobee have moved on to the semifinals for the 2020 Hero Dog Awards, an annual nationwide competition recognizing America’s hero dogs.

The two were nominated early this spring for consideration for the award. Almost half a million votes have been cast, and the local rescue dogs remain standing.

Olive will now vie with two other canines for the title of the nation’s top therapy hero dog of the year.

Sobee is one of three semifinalists in the service dog category.

Seven winners of their categories will compete to become the American Humane Hero Dog. The awards will be broadcast as a two-hour special on the Hallmark Channel.

Olive, a poodle mix, volunteers as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate for the Cole County Court, serving as a therapy dog for children going through the ordeals of the legal system.

Her owner, Capital City CASA volunteer Lisa Bax, nominated Olive in the therapy category for her work with children who are often victims of violence or neglect and are appointed a CASA.

She has served more than 300 children since beginning in the court system in 2016.

Sobee is Jason Howe’s service dog. Howe had difficulty adjusting to civilian life after returning from two military deployments. He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and began self-medicating. While home with family in Maine, he ran into an old friend who had a service dog. The friend connected him with K9s on the Front Line, a nonprofit that partners trained service dogs with military veterans. Through them, he partnered with Sobee, a boxer mix that had been rescued from a Georgia shelter.

She flipped a switch in his life, he said. Since then, she has helped Howe establish a Missouri chapter of K9s on the Front Line.

Round 2 voting for the hero dogs is open until July 16. People are invited to vote daily at herodogaward.org.

A third round of voting will take place from July 30 through Sept. 10. The date and time for the Hero Dog Awards broadcast has not been determined.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more