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Animal Planet Hero of the Year

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Hero of the Year Nominees

Animal Planet and Fresh Step are coming together to honor the 10 finalists that have been chosen for the Animal Planet Hero of the Year. Read about the nominees here and cast your vote for Animal Planet Hero of the Year! The winner will receive a $10,000 donation made to the animal welfare organization of the winner’s choice and a 7-day/6-night trip for 2 to Hawaii!

(nominees are listed in alphabetical order)

  Carol Buckey is co-founder and director of the Elephant Sanctuary (TES) in Hohenwald, Tenn. The sanctuary was founded in 1995, and is the nation’s largest natural habitat refuge developed specifically for endangered African and Asian elephants. Learn more about Carol now.


  Kristin Cheney started and runs a nonprofit charity, Seniors With Pets, in Tacoma, Wash. This charity provides free pet food to people 55 or older who are on a fixed income. Learn more about Kristin now.



Alison Gianotto is the founder of, which maintains the only nationwide database of animal cruelty cases. Learn more about Alison now.


  Tammy Grimes of Tipton, Pa., is the founder of Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing the chained dog, and bringing man’s best friend into the home and family. Learn more about Tammy now.



Kelly is the founder and director of the Marathon Wild Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, and has been for the past 10 years. Other Florida Keys rehabers call on her for assistance because her success rate is phenomenal (more than 50 percent of the birds are returned to the wild). Learn more about Kelly now.



Sally is the primary force behind Black Bear Rehabilitation of Idaho. Last year, she rehabilitated some 40 orphaned black bear cubs for the states of Idaho, Utah, Washington and Oregon. Learn more about Sally now.


  Dr. William "Doc" Mitchell owned his own vet practice in Maryland and retired to the North Georgia Mountains. He discovered no animal control and an out-of-control pet population. Doc opened a low-cost clinic so people could afford to have pets fixed and vaccinated. Learn more about William now.


  Pam Porteous "adopted" the town of Pontiac, Mich., 15 years ago and developed the most innovative urban community outreach program in America, to ensure that every animal has a chance to live a healthy and happy life. Learn more about Pam now.





Mona Rutger, together with her husband Bill, has owned and operated a volunteer wildlife rehabilitation and nature education center, Back to the Wild, for 15 years in Castalia, Ohio. Learn more about Mona now.



Eighty-one year old Anneke Vos started her work twenty-three years ago when she began a program that has provided shelter, medical care, food and other provisions to the pets of homeless people in Sacramento, Calif. Learn more about Anneke now.


7 responses »

  1. I don\’t know what you did or what Live Spaces did, but I think that this is the fastest that your space has ever opened up.  Usually, I click on your link and I can walk away and get a cup of coffee before it comes up, but today, it was lickety-split.  No time for coffee.  Awesome!!

  2. :o) smiles easy to give away they are free… :o) very contagious… :o) so pass one to anyone … :o) to people that you love… :o) and even to those you don\’t… :o) in no time the whole world will be smiling :o)

  3. That\’s going to be a hard choice….they all deserve an award.  But, I\’ll pick one and go and vote.  Hugs…..Diane.

  4. Loved loved loveddddddddd the previous blog, and yes I did need that tissue!  As for the video of the Momma cat tending to the puppies, that is absolutely amazing :-).  I shall try to pick one of these and place my vote.
    Thank you for the hug link 🙂  ~hugs~

  5. Just stopping in to say Howdy!  Hope you have a great weekend!

  6. P.S.    No mention about the late great wildlife warrior,  Steve Irwin!!??
    He\’s got my vote!  Crikey!!

  7. Stopped by to say hello, Wendy. Hope this finds you having an awesome day!


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