A first of its kind, the prestigious Maddie Hero Award, recognizes and honors the "top dogs” in communities that are not only advancing the welfare of companion animals in the United States, but are leading the way with their bold ideas and progressive actions. Exemplifying Maddie's Fund's core values of honesty, integrity and mutual respect, these individuals are making a difference to keep pets and people together and are deserving of incredible recognition.

This award comes with a $10,000 grant for their respective organizations.

Maddie Heroes through the years:


2018: Maddie’s Fund Surprises Animal Welfare Superheroes

  • Alan Borgal, Animal Rescue League of Boston, MA
  • Jon Cicirelli, San Jose Animal Care and Services, CA
  • Ryan Clinton, Attorney, Austin, TX
  • Denise Deisler, Jacksonville Humane Society, FL
  • Sheriff Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff's Office South Animal Care Center, FL
  • Teresa Johnson, Kansas City Pet Project, MO
  • Aimee Sadler, Dogs Playing for Life, CO
  • Risa Weinstock, Animal Care Centers of New York City, NY
  • Lori Weise, Downtown Dog Rescue, CA
  • Makena Yarborough, Lynchburg Humane Society, VA

2017: Maddie Heroes


  • Robin Starr, Richmond SPCA
  • Elena Bicker, Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation
  • Dr. Karen Sheppard, Huntsville Animal Services
  • Christie Banduch, Kirby Animal Care Services & Bexar County Animal Control Services

Big picture thinking

  • Dr. Kate Hurley, Million Cat Challenge
  • Dr. Julie Levy, Million Cat Challenge
  • Tara Loller, The Humane Society of the United States
  • Julie Morris, ASPCA
  • Susan Houser, Out the Front Door blog
  • Ann Dunn, Cat Town

Shelter Medicine

  • Dr. Cynda Crawford, University of Florida
  • Dr. Sandra Newbury, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Dr. Elizabeth Berlin, Cornell University

2016: Inaugural Maddie Heroes

  • Dr. Gary Weitzman, San Diego Humane Society
  • Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Austin Pets Alive!
  • Carol Novello, Humane Society Silicon Valley
  • Joe Elmore, Charleston Animal Society
  • Sharon Harmon, Oregon Humane Society
  • Scott Trebatoski, Hillsborough County Pet Resources Center
  • Sherri Franklin, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue
  • Heather Cammisa, St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center
  • Brent Toellner, KC Pet Project