Local residents such as , , and others attended the American Hero Dog Awards in Beverly Hills on Saturday, and the show is set to air on the Studio City-based Hallmark Channel on Nov. 11.
who shoots her show at the CBS Radford Studio lot, was also among the presenters. Roselle, a guide dog from Novato, Calif., wasposthumously named American Hero Dog of 2011 at the inaugural American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.
Roselle was honored for guiding her blind handler Michael Hingson down 78 flights of stairs in Tower One of the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Roselle died June 26, after the nominations were announced.
"From the outset, Roselle guided and did her job perfectly," Hingson wrote in his nomination of the Labrador retriever.
"While others in my office saw fire above us, Roselle did not panic. Because of Roselle's calm demeanor, I knew we could evacuate in an orderly manner. She remained focused as we went to the stairwell and traveled down 1,463 stairs to the first floor. Her poise helped me remain calm as we led others down to safety."
After leaving Tower One, Hingson and Roselle were across the street from Tower Two when it collapsed.
"When everyone ran in panic, Roselle remained totally focused on her job as we ran,'' Hingson wrote. "When debris fell around us, and even hit us, Roselle stayed calm. Because of her poise, we found an entrance to the subway system where we could go underground away from the heavy dust cloud. Through the dust, I still don't know how she saw the entrance to the stairwell to the subway station. As usual, Roselle stopped at the top of the stairs and waited for me to command her to go forward and down. All that day Roselle worked flawlessly. She saved my life and truly is the greatest dog hero of all."
A $10,000 donation will be made to Guide Dogs to the Blind in connection with the award.
The winner was selected by a panel that included Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Kristen Chenoweth and Mark Hamill.
The other seven finalists were:
-- Bino, a Dutch shepherd who served with the 35th Military Police
Detachment at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga. for nearly 11 years, including a 14-
month tour in Iraq and serving on special narcotics missions with the Border
-- Harley, a hearing dog from Fountain Hills, Ariz., who has given his
owner self-confidence and a feeling of equality with others that she had not
-- Ricochet, from Escondido, Calif., billed as the world's only known
dog that surfs with special needs children and people with disabilities for
therapeutic purposes. She has raised thousands of dollars for various causes.
-- Sadie, a Labrador retriever from Westminster, Colo., a certified
accelerant detection dog who works with the Major Crimes Unit of the Colorado
Bureau of Investigation and has worked on approximately 400 fires and assisted
in cases resulting in numerous arrests;
-- Sage, a search and rescue dog from Hagerman, N.M., who detected the
remains of a terrorist in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon and has
also been involved in the searches for survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
and the missing teenager Natalee Holloway;
-- Stacey Mae, a Greater Swiss Mountain dog and therapy dog from Guffey,
Colo. who has helped collect thousands of Teddy bears from around the world
for hospitalized children; and
-- Zurich, a Labrador retriever from Des Plaines, Ill., a certified
The eight finalists were chosen in online voting from among 453 nominees
from all 50 states. More than 400,000 votes were cast.
The seven runners-up each won $5,000 to be donated to one of the
American Humane Association's charity partners.
—City News Service contributed to this report.