Surf dog Ricochet, the SURFice dog was awarded the "Emerging Hero Dog" award during the star studded American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards, black tie gala in Beverly Hills on Saturday, October 1st. The inaugural event was presented by Cesar Canine Cuisine, and featured Betty White at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Ricochet was one of eight finalists out of 453 contestants that were honored at the red-carpet awards show hosted by Carson Kressley from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy". The awards show will be aired on the Hallmark Channel on November 11th. The winning categories included Emerging Hero... an ordinary dog doing extra-ordinary things, Guide Dog, Hearing Dog, Law Enforcement/Arson dog, Military Dog, Service dog, Search and Rescue Dog, and Therapy Dog.

Ricochet was escorted down the red-carpet by Victoria Stillwell from Animal Planet's "It's Me or the Dog". Ricochet also posed for the paw-parazzi with celebrities including Peter Fonda, Orlando Brown from That's So Raven, Michelle Forbes from True Blood, Jason Lewis from Sex and the City, Anna Trubanskaya from Dancing with the Stars, Rin Tin Tin, and many others. Ricochet also met Betty White, an honored actor and animal advocate. Betty has a golden retriever of her own, so as soon as Ricochet's nose touched Betty's hand, the two bonded immediately!

Each dog's story was shared via a video tribute during the ceremony bringing many to tears. The dogs were awarded a $5000 donation to their designated American Humane Association Charity Partner. They also received a Hero Dog Sculpture that was created by Elizabeth Taylor's daughter, Liza Todd Burton specifically for this event.

Ricochet won the "emerging hero" award for her inspirational, philanthropic, and "paw it forward" lifestyle. Once her video on YouTube "From service dog to SURFice dog" went viral with over 3.6 million views, she re-directed the attention to scores of human/animal causes. Other contributing factors are the thousands of dollars she's raised, and she's the only known dog in the world that surfs with special needs kids, and people with disabilities for therapeutic purposes.

Ricochet's award was presented by Joey Lawrence from the comedy show, "Melissa & Joey". In her acceptance speech, handler Judy Fridono said "We are so grateful to the American Humane Association for giving us this incredible platform to raise awareness of Ricochet's causes, she's raised over $125,00 for humans and animals in need, and this opportunity will allow us to help many others..." and the crowd erupted in applause.

At the end of the evening, the "American Hero Dog of the Year" which was selected by a panel of judges including Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Kristen Chenoweth and Victoria Stillwell was announced. Roselle, a guide dog who led her blind handler, Michael Hingson down 78 flights of stairs in Tower One of the World Trade Center on 9/11 was honored with the award. Sadly, Roselle died on June 26th, during the contest.

Ricochet plans to use this platform as another opportunity to help others, and thanks her supporters for this wonderful privilege to do so.

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