By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Three Oklahoma adopted pets will be honored at the Central Oklahoma Humane Society’s first ever Pet Hero Award presentation. The inaugural OK Humane Hero Awards will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Ave. in downtown Oklahoma City.
The Pet Hero Award celebrates heroic efforts against seemingly insurmountable odds. It may involve saving the life of a human or another animal, or providing service to the community.
“Many of us have pet heroes in our lives every day,” said Sue Della Maddalena, president and CEO for OK Humane. “This event will give us a chance to recognize adopted pets with incredible stories of valor, unconditional love and compassion.”
Nominations for the Pet Hero Award are now being accepted. To be eligible, the pet must be a dog or a cat adopted from a rescue or shelter organization.
Applicants are asked to submit a photo of the heroic pet with a short description (200 words or less) explaining why the dog or cat deserves the award. Nominations must be submitted by noon August 6 to be considered.
Norman veterinarian Dr. John Otto and Sister Pauline Quinn will also be honored that evening for their compassion and demonstrated commitment to ending pet homelessness in Oklahoma.
Event co-chair Sheryl Colton said, “Dr. Otto has been the driving force behind the implementation of the Mabel Bassett Guardian Angel’s Program. It’s the first prison dog training program at a woman’s correctional facility in the state of Oklahoma.
“The program is designed to give female inmates the chance to give back to society by training OK Humane dogs with behavior problems that would otherwise be out of options.”
Sister Quinn is founder of the nationally recognized Prison Pet Partnership Program, which teaches female offenders to train, groom and board dogs inside prison walls as part of their rehabilitation.
“Sister Quinn advised Dr. Otto and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections throughout the entire process,” Colton said. “Her expertise and guidance is ensuring that our dogs are being trained in the safest, most compassionate way possible.”
Pet Hero nomination forms can be downloaded from the OK Humane website or picked-up in person at the OK Humane Adoption Center located at 7500 N. Western Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Forms are also available on the OK Humane Heroes application, which can be downloaded in the Apple or Google Play stores.
Applicants may also send a self-addressed, stamped #10 business envelope requesting a nomination form to: Central Oklahoma Humane Society, OK Humane Hero Awards, 9300 N. May Ave., Suite 400-281, Oklahoma City, OK 73120.
Mailed nominations must be postmarked by Aug. 6.
A 501(c)3 non-profit, OK Humane’s goal is to eliminate the needless euthanasia of adoptable pets at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter through a variety of local programs.
These programs include adoption, spay/neuter, trap-neuter-return and humane education.
More than 70,000 dogs and cats have been helped since 2007. OK Humane receives no government funding, tax dollars, or funding from the Humane Society of the United States.
The OK Humane Hero Awards presented by the Petco Foundation will be open to the public. Ticket information will be posted online on Aug. 3. The event will also be live streamed for those who can’t attend in person.
For more information, or to submit a Pet Hero nomination, visit okhumaneheroes.org