The 2014 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of eight categories: Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement Dogs, Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, and Guide/Hearing Dogs.
The Service Dog category includes animals that assist people with disabilities other than sight and hearing. Most have received special training.
For years people believed that interaction with companion animals was helpful for children with autism, providing them with unconditional love, nonjudgemental friendship, and social interaction. A new study shows that dogs can provide very real benefits for these children.