Pet Hero Awards


By showcasing these outstanding contributions, we hope to inspire everyone

to become involved in defending the rights of animals. Pet Hero Awards promote public awareness of the causes that protect our animals. The

Pet Hero Awards celebrate individuals, associations, professionals, pets and business organizations that demonstrate a commitment to improving and protecting animal lives. Our belief is by recognizing role models, others will aspire to excellence, as well. Our Advisory Board Members are solely responsible nominating  potential Pet Hero Award candidates. It is essential

that this group be totally committed to our cause and willing to invest the

time and/or financial commitment necessary to keep our awards program standards of excellence intact.







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Meet the 2013 Pet Hero Award Winners

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Christie Brinkley

Actress & Supermodel - Humanitarian of the Year


It is well known that Christie Brinkley is a super model, an outstanding Mom, a gifted photographer and an expressive writer.  What many do not know is that she is a very strong advocate for animals, our environment, and wildlife.


From the early age of 13, Christie knew she felt strongly about this world we live in.  She started with making the choice to be a vegetarian.  She has a protective passion for all animals, all wildlife, and every aspect of our environment. She feels a responsibility to use her voice and her stage to ensure that the public is aware of many unspeakable practices that continue today behind the scenes. From advocating against horse slaughter, bringing light to toxic environmental conditions, and renouncing the abuse of animals used for cosmetic testing, she is a true humanitarian.  Another cause dear to her heart is marine life.  The ocean has a vast array of endangered marine life and her dedication to ensuring this life thrives is admirable."...

Read Christie's Full Tribute and Profile



Lou Wegner

Actor, Founder of Kids Against Animal Cruelty – Junior Ambassador Award


We often hear the words “the youth are our future”.
Lou Wegner is showing us that our future is bright!


Lou is an accomplished teen actor, having been in Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans, Clint Eastwood’s Trouble With the Curve, Modern Family and many well-known films and TV productions.  Though this is truly admirable for a person so young, his greatest achievement is by far his work with abandoned and endangered animals. He has a profound connection with them.  Lou not only sees the animals, he “hears” them and he listens.  His response to their calls is taking him on a journey that enriches not only his life, but the lives of countless others...

Read Lou's Full Tribute and Profile



Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons

Shelter of the Year


The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons is guided by three core values:  Compassion, integrity and dedication.  Founded in 1974, they continue to validate our companion animals through their numerous programs designed to enrich lives and to educate.


We often hear the word “shelter”.  ARF has given new life to the meaning of that word by instituting very positive plans.  They are a no-kill adoption center, adopting out approximately 1,000 animals per year.  They have created an extensive intake facility that not only provides food and a warm cozy bed, but state of the art veterinary care.  Where ARF is concerned, there is never an animal that is not worthy. They will care for animals with special needs, choosing not to euthanize them but extend the opportunity, for as long as necessary, to help them heal.  Eventually, the goal is to find these pets the perfect adoptive home, no matter how long that might take...

Read Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons's Full Tribute and Profile



Main Line Animal Rescue

Outstanding Rescue Organization


Main Line Animal Rescue, located minutes from Valley Forge National Park in scenic Chester County, Pennsylvania, is considered by many to be the finest animal shelter in the United States. With more than four hundred active volunteers, over a thousand companion animals adopted a year, a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic, innovative training and educational programs, and almost sixty acres of fenced pastures and walking trails, MLAR is not only a sight to behold but an experience you will never forget.

Every year, Main Line Animal Rescue assists hundreds of dogs, cats, and rabbits transferred to their facility from overcrowded city shelters. Many of these animals are in need of costly and immediate medical care. They carefully screen and find new homes for animals privately surrendered by families unable to care for them any longer, and rescue and rehabilitate countless dogs from Pennsylvania’s notorious puppy mills...

Read Main Line Animal Rescue's Full Tribute and Profile



The Cesar Millan Foundation

Outstanding Foundation


The Cesar Millan Foundation has a priority. That priority is to create a lifelong healthy relationship between people and dogs. There are many roads they are taking to clear the path for this ultimate goal to be realized.


Cesar Millan, the founder of the Cesar Millan Foundation , desired to create and deliver community humane education programs and promote animal welfare by supporting the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of abused and abandoned dogs. This is being achieved daily through the dedication of those who share this same desire...

Read The Millan Foundation's Full Tribute and Profile



An Act of Dog

Animal Welfare Arts


Mark Barone and Marina Dervan are co-founders of the non-profit “An Act of Dog.” Prior to starting their charity, Mark had been an Artist for over 30 years, with his work featured in top art publications, awarded and exhibited throughout America, with much of his work hanging in private and corporation collections all over the World. In addition to this his art career, he has been a consultant to Cities across America, showing them how to use the arts to revitalize blighted neighborhoods, and is revered for his successful creation and implementation of the, “Paducah Artist Relocation Program,” in Paducah, Kentucky.


Marina had spent her prior twenty years coaching Corporate Executives from Wall Street and North America, to the city of London and Continental Europe. She devoted her life to finding compassionate solutions to “people problems” and developed her own system for identifying and navigating through the deluge of Human Emotions and physical ails...

Read An Act of Dog's Full Tribute and Biography




Animal Welfare Education


The ASCPA is a name associated with action, education, protection, and positive change for animals throughout the United States.  When Henry Bergh first started the organization in 1866, his belief was that all animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law.  He would be extremely proud to know that his vision has been realized and some might say even surpassed!


There are numerous programs implemented today by the ASPCA.   From the legal aspect of protection and animal welfare laws to disaster relief in times of need, most recently Hurricane Sandy, you will find ASPCA leaders and volunteers on the ground running.  They do not hold back, there is no need too big or too small. They  go full force in a firm but positive manner to ensure that the animals are safe whether they are in need of medical treatment or just a kind hand telling them they are safe now...

Read ASPCA's Full Tribute and Profile




Outstanding Corporation


Why does an automobile manufacturer support animal welfare initiatives? Excellent question

and easily answered!


Subaru drives their customers’ passions and one of those passions is pet parenting. 7 out of 10

Subaru owners have an animal in their household. To support their customers, Subaru, along with their network of over 600 dealers, have conducted hundreds of pet adoptions at their dealerships.

Subaru also sponsors and participates in many national, large-scale events. These sponsorships

have helped find loving homes for thousands of animals in need through the brand’s “Subaru Love

A Pet” initiative. Their partnerships with several dedicated and highly regarded animal welfare

organizations help share the call to action for animals in need....

Read Subaru's Full Tribute and Profile



Jane Hoffman

Outstanding Director


Jane Hoffman helped found the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals (the Alliance) in 2002

and has served as president and chair of the board of directors ever since. The Alliance was created to work with the City of New York to apply creative, targeted solutions to NYC’s homeless animal crisis.  Working pursuant to a 10-Year Strategic Plan (2005-2014), and with 150+ rescue groups

and shelters that now participate in the Alliance (ranging from the ASCPA, a founding member,

to small neighborhood-based rescue groups), the Alliance has succeeded in reducing euthanasia

at our shelters.


Hoffman is an attorney, formerly with the Wall Street firm Simpson Thacher and Bartlett, and was in private practice specializing

in taxation, executive compensation and estate planning. She was also a senior consultant at Handy Associates, a management consulting firm, working on mergers and acquisitions...

Read Jane's Full Tribute and Profile



Teresa Meekins, DVM

Outstanding Veterinarian


Dr. Teressa Meekins, DVM, is a woman with a mission.  Not only is she concerned with
the overpopulation of animals, she is passionate about creating a solution to the problem.


Teri grew up on Long Island, one of five children.  Early on, her parents discovered that she would rescue any abandoned animal and give it safe haven.  Teri started her career in fashion design though found herself being drawn back to the care of animals. She pursued her Associates Degree

in Veterinary Technology before ultimately deciding to go on to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Long Island University, Southampton Campus. It was during this time that she recognized her desire to do more and ultimately became a licensed Veterinarian with a distinct goal in mind. That goal was to reduce animal overpopulation through enacting successful spay/neuter programs thereby lowering the high euthanasia rates in the U.S.....

Read Teresa Meekins's Full Tribute and Profile



Jerome and Riki Shaw

Outstanding Philanthropist


For anyone who has ever looked deeply into the eyes of an animal in need of rescue you will understand the profound force that compelled Riki Shaw to become consumed by a mission. 
That mission is to better the life of all animals.


Riki and her husband, Jerome, currently live in Coconut Grove, Florida.  Riki’s journey first began

in her home state of Michigan 15 years ago when she adopted Emma, a King Charles Cavalier.

It was shortly after that adoption that she came to realize that there are many “Emma’s” out there who are raised in small wire pens, in filthy conditions and sold by unscrupulous pet stores or

even on the internet.  She became involved as a board member and volunteer with Lucky Star Cavalier rescue in MI and is presently

a board member for Hearts United for Animals in Nebraska and Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington, Florida where Jerome and

Riki have committed to building a Quarantine facility and cage free housing...

Read Jerome and Riki Shaw's Full Tribute and Profile




Outstanding Dog


In the breathtaking wine country of Napa Valley California lives a very aristocratic dog who

has excellent taste in wine and a concern for pets that may not have the same opportunities

he has been afforded.


“Frenchie”, born into wine royalty, shares his life with the owners of Raymond Vineyards. He leads

a playful and debonair lifestyle and is assisting his owners with raising awareness about the danger of leaving animals in hot vehicles during the summer months. Every year hundreds of dogs die as temperatures quickly rise in hot cars from 80 to 120 degrees within 15 minutes.  By promoting that dogs are welcome at Frenchie’s Winery (named in his honor) he has the opportunity to educate, giving the public the information

they need to prevent this from happening to their canine family members...

Read Frenchie's Full Tribute and Profile



Guardians of Rescue

Outstanding Volunteers


Guardians of Rescue define the words “volunteer rescue group.”  What makes them give up their weekends, their evenings after work and bundle up to head out in the cold to save an animal?

What spurs them on to go into areas where they may be in danger or answer a call in the middle

of the night for an animal in an emergency situation?  It’s simple. They care.


Guardians of Rescue was created through the efforts of Robert Misseri.  His vision was to work

to protect the wellbeing of all animals and come to the aid of those in distress. His team is all about People Helping Animals and Animals Helping People...

Read Guardians of Rescue's Full Tribute and Profile


Meet our 2012 Pet Hero Award Winners