ASPCA To Honor Heroic Animals and People at Annual National Humane Awards Luncheon on March 2, 2004

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Suffolk county K-9 police dog 'Boomer,' 92-year-old lifetime animal rescuer, heroic cat who alerted owner to fire & talk show host Ellen DeGeneres among awards recipients.

The American Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) will honor both people and animals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to furthering the human-animal bond at the ASPCA National Humane Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, March 2, 2004. The event will be held at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City starting at 11:30 A.M., followed by a luncheon and awards ceremony from 12 P.M. to 2 P.M.

"The ASPCA is proud to honor people and animals who have demonstrated extraordinary compassion, bravery and commitment to making the world a kinder and more humane place for animals," says ASPCA President Edwin J. Sayres. "This event serves as a great opportunity for us to showcase the human-animal bond and to raise awareness of the great joy animals bring to our lives every day."

CBS Early Show weatherman Dave Price will emcee the event, assisted by his four-legged companion Chance who Price adopted from the ASPCA. "Chance the Weatherdog" is well known to millions of morning television viewers from his frequent on-air appearances with Price on the CBS Early Show.

The Trooper Award For Animal Heroism will be presented to Nuggets, a heroic cat who alerted her owner, Chester Hill, PA Mayor Karen Kephart to a fire that started in the house. Another recipient of the Trooper Award for Animal Heroism is Boomer, a Suffolk County K-9 who was stabbed six times by a suspect during an arrest. Boomer miraculously survived the vicious attack, and after weeks of recuperating from emergency surgery, is back on the job with his partner Police Officer John Mallia.
In addition to honoring special animals, the ASPCA National Humane Awards also honors members of the public, humane community as well as public and civil servants.

The Chairman's Emergency Relief Award is presented to government employees in recognition of their outstanding efforts in facilitating disaster relief work. New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employee James Bruni will receive this award for his quick thinking and heroic rescue of a cat trapped in a flooded sewer in Brooklyn.

Ellen DeGeneres is the recipient of the ASPCA Founder's Award for her promotion of the importance of pet adoption, kindness and compassion for animals. Ms. DeGeneres regularly promotes pet adoption on her weekly talk program The Ellen DeGeneres Show and recently auctioned sheets with her likeness on eBay, raising $18,500 for the ASPCA. As Ms. DeGeneres was unable to attend the luncheon, ASPCA President Edwin J. Sayres presented the award to the nationally acclaimed personality last month on the Los Angeles set of her of TV show. A videotape presentation, including a special taped greeting from Ms. DeGeneres will be part of the awards ceremony.

92-year-old Gertrude Maxwell from Palm Beach, Florida has spent more than thirty years working tirelessly to rescue animals and will be presented with the ASPCA Lifetime Achievement Award for her efforts. The lives of over 70,000 abandoned and homeless animals have been saved by Ms. Maxwell's no-kill "Save a Pet" organizations in Illinois and Florida.

Named after the ASPCA's founder, the Henry Bergh Medal of Honor recognizes individuals who dedicate their lives to making the world a kinder, more humane place for animals. This year's recipient is Brooklyn native Eddie Lama, subject of the award-winning documentary, The Witness, (Produced by Tribe of Heart, 2000) and founder of Oasis Sanctuary in upstate New York. The sanctuary is home to many species of animals and serves as a temporary home for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. Lama is being honored for his inspirational journey from drug addition to becoming a well-respected and leading animal advocate.

The ASPCA Cares Award is presented to a member of the community who works to better the lives of New York City's animals. Jane Hoffman, President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Mayor's Alliance for New York City's Animals will receive this award for her efforts and commitment to bringing together the NYC government and the animal care community. Ms. Hoffman will be joined by Lulu, the first dog to find a new home at the Mayor's Alliance kick-off adoption event in November 2002.

Certificates of Appreciation will be presented to Jane Washington and Elizabeth Silverman, both long-time ASPCA volunteers, for their outstanding commitment and dedication to the ASPCA shelter animals.

For more information, or to contact American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, see their website at: www.aspca.org

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