ASPCA Announces 2015 Humane Awards Winners!

November 12, 2015

What do a courageous guide dog, a 12-year-old girl dedicated to improving her local animal shelter and a population of tiny, neonate kittens have in common? They’re among this year’s ASPCA Humane Awards winners honored today at the ASPCA’s annual Humane Awards Luncheon in New York City. As one of the most exciting events of the year, the Luncheon serves to recognize the human and animal heroes who have demonstrated extraordinary efforts and great commitment to animal welfare this year.

Selecting this year’s winners was no easy task. Chosen from hundreds of nominees nationwide by an ASPCA-appointed committee for their positive and lasting impact on the world of animal welfare, 2015’s winners are nothing short of exceptional!

ASPCA Announces the 2015 Humane Awards Winners!

The 2015 Humane Awards winners include:

ASPCA Dog of the Year: Figo

Last June, Figo, a Gold Retriever guide dog, was helping his blind owner, Audrey Stone, cross a major street in Brewster, New York, when a bus quickly approached. Acting on his innate courage and Guide Dog Foundation training, Figo immediately put himself in the path of the bus, protecting Audrey. Despite sustaining severe injury, Figo did not leave Audrey’s side until help arrived. Audrey mended in the hospital while Figo recovered at a local veterinarian’s office, and the two were joyously reunited weeks later.
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ASPCA Cat of the Year: The Kittens of the ASPCA Kitten Nursery

This year’s ASPCA Cat of the Year is not just one outstanding feline, but many: the determined young felines of the ASPCA Kitten Nursery who, without homes or families, faced extraordinary peril just to stay alive. Every feline breeding season, the facility takes in up to 2,000 extremely vulnerable kittens—some as young as two weeks old. These orphans are kept warm, bathed and hand-fed around the clock by a committed staff of 50 who are specifically trained to handle this fragile population. Through the heroism of caregivers and the general public, these kittens are given an opportunity to move from lives of danger to safe and loving homes.
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ASPCA Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year Award: Abbigail Hickman
This award is dedicated to Tommy P. Monahan, a nine-year-old Staten Island boy who perished in a 2007 house fire trying to save his pet.

When Abbi was just nine years old, she was disheartened by conditions she saw at her local animal shelter while visiting to adopt a kitten. Determined to help, she utilized her extensive bowling experience to create “Abbi’s Pins for Pets.” Since 2013, Abbi and her organization have raised more than $30,000 for the Tracy Animal Shelter, and run an annual two-day “Abbi’s Pins for Pets” weekend to bring in more funds. Abbi personally writes and visits local businesses and officials to ask for support—and her hard work is paying off. Starting this year, every adopter at the shelter will receive a special welcome kit, which includes pet supplies donated by local businesses.

Now 12 years old, Abbi has been recognized as the American Red Cross 2015 Animal Rescue Hero of the Year, and recently won a 2015 Nickelodeon Teen Halo Effect Award for her selfless devotion to animal welfare.
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ASPCA Henry Bergh Award:
Lori Hensley and Coalition to Unchain Dogs
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ASPCA Media Excellence Award: Gorman Bechard
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ASPCA Presidential Service Award: Dr. Jose Armando Cruz Rivera
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Congratulations to this year’s recipients! Click through to learn more about all the winners of the 2015 Humane Awards.