The AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) 2012

2012 ACE Honorees

The  American Kennel Club is proud to announce the Recipients and Honorable Mentions  for the 2012 AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). Established in  2000, ACE has become a valuable public-outreach program for the AKC as well as  a source of pride among the fancy and the dog community.

The recipient in each category (Exemplary  Companion, Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Service,  and Therapy) will receive an engraved silver collar medallion and a  check for $1,000 at a presentation ceremony at the AKC/Eukanuba National  Championship in Orlando, Florida, on December 15, 2012.  Dogs earning honorable mention will be cited  and will receive bronze collar medallions.


Search and Rescue
Keahi – Belgian Tervuren,  handled by Kristi Smith of Peoria, AZ
Seven-year-old Keahi (key-ah-hee; Hawaiian for “fire”) is  from a line of high-achieving show and performance dogs. During her career with  Arizona Search Track and Rescue, Keahi has proved to be durable, versatile, and  uncannily accurate.
Certified in air-scent, avalanche, cadaver, evidence, and  human-remains searches, the in-demand Terv has answered the call in nine states  and Canada. She and Smith conduct approximately 43 searches a year, logging  between 91 and 126 work days a year—a strenuous pace for any search team.
Smith and Keahi have found lost children and wandering  seniors, led investigators to the bodies of murder victims and those who have  drowned (including one find 170 feet under water), and recovered key evidence  in criminal investigations.
Smith’s fellow K-9 handler Claudia Schmitz says, “When not  actively working the field on missions, Keahi goes out of her way to interact  with the searchers, family, investigators and anyone else on scene, helping  them feel better under quite often tragic situations.”
In 2008, Keahi gave birth to a litter of seven. Five of her  pups are now in the “family business” of advanced search work. Keahi and her  offspring are a credit to their breed and their breeding.
The following dogs received Honorable Mention:
Dino – All American owned by Jackie Phillips of San Leandro, CA
Heather – Bloodhound owned by Allen L. Means of Strasburg, PA
Kessa – German Shepherd Dog owned by Ann Christensen of Shelley, ID
Merit – Bloodhound owned by Terri Heck of New Cumberland, PA
Sam – German Shepherd Dog owned by Laurie Vickery of Wichita, KS


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