Hero Dog Awards showcase power of the human-animal connection

Actress Bindi Irwin and professional dancer Derek Hough present the 2015 Military Dog of the Year award to Sgt. Rambo.

Actress Bindi Irwin, and professional dancer Derek Hough, present the Military Dog of the Year award to Sgt. Rambo at the 2015 Hero Dog Awards.


By Bindi Irwin

This past September, I was invited to participate in a truly beautiful event in Beverly Hills to showcase the powerful connection of animals in our lives – the Hero Dog Awards, hosted by the American Humane Association. I cannot begin to tell you how inspiring the evening was and how many wonderful people were there to celebrate the bond between animals and humans.

Derek Hough, my amazing dance partner on “Dancing with the Stars,” and I presented the Military Dog of the Year award to Sgt. Rambo, an explosive detection military working dog who served in the Marine Corps from January 6, 2011 to April 11, 2012. I was so grateful for this opportunity and I will never forget this special evening.

Sgt Rambo’s handler, Lisa Phillips, visits with Derek Hough and Bindi Irwin on the red carpet at the 2015 Hero Dog Awards.

Sgt. Rambo’s handler, Lisa Phillips, visits with Derek Hough and Bindi Irwin on the red carpet at the 2015 Hero Dog Awards.


I’ve been an advocate for animals my whole life along with my dad, mum and brother Robert. This is something that we all hold close to our hearts, and is a big part of my dad’s passion, which he passed on to us.

My family started a wildlife conservation charity, Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, as a way to include and involve other caring people in the support and protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife – from the individual animal to an entire species. My family, our team of dedicated Wildlife Warriors, and I work every day to carry on my dad’s legacy and ensure the protection of our wildlife and wild places for generations to come.

Wildlife Warriors supports multiple wildlife conservation projects around the world and in my home country of Australia – including our major project, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, which is now the largest and busiest facility of its kind in Australia, having treated more than 59,000 sick, injured or orphaned native animals.

Actress Bindi Irwin and professional dancer Derek Hough present the 2015 Military Dog of the Year award to Sgt. Rambo.

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough present the 2015 Military Dog of the Year award to Sgt. Rambo.

We’ve recently expanded our reach to involve the caring people of the USA in our conservation efforts around the world, helping to spread our message even further and give more people the opportunity to share our vision. You can find out more about our wildlife conservation projects and how you can get involved by going to www.wildlifewarriors.org.

I feel so honoured to have been given the opportunity to show my love for animals in yet another way. I’m so proud of the work other like-minded organisations, such as American Humane Association, are doing and hope we can continue to fight for our animals and provide for them the lives they deserve.

The 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards® are available for online viewing at www.HallmarkChannelEverywhere.com or on the Hallmark Channel Everywhere app.

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