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2018 HERO Awards

March 10 @ 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 5:30 pm
Omni Montelucia Resort & Spa
Alhambra Ballroom

With special guest:
Jackson Galaxy
Appearance sponsored by Fizzion

What do you get when you put 450 of the Valley’s most passionate animal lovers together in one room, at the Montelucia Resort?

The 15th Annual HERO Awards!

We invite you to join The Arizona Pet Project (formerly Friends of Animal Care & Control) at the 15th Annual HERO Awards for an evening of celebration and fundraising to save even more lives through shelter prevention programs (like spay & neuter) in Maricopa County.

The HERO Awards is one of the most heartwarming events in our community – our HERO honorees are local animals who have proved their courage, ability to overcome the greatest of challenges and their will to live. In addition to our animal heroes, we will also honor our Human Heroes, the Van Es Family. Prepare to be inspired by our heroes’ incredible stories of generosity, unconditional love and survival.

The Arizona Pet Project, formerly Friends of Animal Care & Control, was formed in 2001 with the goal of reducing euthanasia of animals in our community. Your participation and generosity during this inspiring evening will help families and save lives by supporting preventive programs which solve the root causes of pet homelessness and overpopulation, like spay/neuter!

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to seeing you at the 15th Annual HERO Awards!

Presenting the 2018 Human Hero Award Winners: 

2018 Human Heroes_the Van Es Family

The Van Es Family – Johnjay, Blake, Jake, Kemp & Dutch

Johnjay Van Es, a popular radio host, along with his dedicated family, created #lovepup to foster homeless pets and find them forever homes. In addition, The Van Es Family uses their national platform to promote adoption to millions of listeners and social media followers.

Presenting the 2018 Animal Hero Award Winners:

2018 Animal Hero_Cuffie

Animal Hero – Cuffie

An adopted cat who saved the life of a little boy who was plummeting toward a diabetic coma in the middle of the night. Cuffie is not only a beloved family member, but a medical miracle.

2018 Animal Survivor_BB Bear

Animal Survivor – BB Bear

Found beaten and broken, this tiny, white puppy fought for his life and quickly became a social media sensation. As BB Bear courageously regained his strength, he had people all over the world falling in love with him resulting in more than 200 adoption applications.


Loyal Companion – Stella the Pitbull

This once abandoned Pit Bull brought joy back into the lives of a family affected by cancer and depression – and ultimately saved a daughter on the brink of suicide. Through a challenging time, Stella provided comfort and happiness for a family in need.

Nana2 (1)

Service to the Community – Nana

Found stranded in the unforgiving desert as a two-day old puppy, this adorable and laid back dog now provides support to individuals all over the state as a therapy dog. Not only does Nana provide comfort and assistance to those in need, she is a true testament to the benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

2018 Over the Rainbow Bridge_Fozzie

Over the Rainbow Bridge – Fozzie

As the nationʼs first full-time crisis response canine, the Scottsdale Police Departmentʼs K9 officer, Fozzie, provides a healing paw during times of crisis. This special canine leaves behind a legacy of providing love and support to humans, including 911 operators and First Responders, in their time of need and vulnerability.

Unleash your impact and donate or purchase your tickets today!

The 2018 HERO Awards is possible thanks to the support of some special people and organizations:

Jackson Galaxy HERO Awards Special Guest

Jackson Galaxy – Honorary Chair

Jackson Galaxy is a prominent cat behaviorist, published author and the host of Animal Planet’s hit show My Cat from Hell.

Click Here for Jackson Galaxy’s full bio.

Lindsay Benjamin – HERO Chair

Lindsay Benjamin – Event Chair

Lindsay is on the Board of Directors for People Saving Pets, a non-profit which provides financial funding for organizations aimed at decreasing the number of euthanized animals in shelters and supporting legislation to help protect animals nation-wide. She practices family law and currently serves Of Counsel at the Tyler Allen Law Firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Lindsay is an Arizona native and lives with her husband, two children and four rescue animals.

Ian Schwartz

Ian Schwartz, CBS 5 Meteorologist – Emcee

Ian Schwartz is a Phoenix native happy to be back working in his hometown! He’s worked around the country as a reporter prior to his current role. Ian has covered many stories showing the horrors of animal abuse and the benefits animals of all sizes bring into our lives. Follow him on Instagram for weather updates and Arizona beauty told through pictures. @SchwartzTV

Thank You to Our
Presenting Sponsor:


Thank You to Our
Top Dog Sponsors:

American Nutrition
People Saving Pets

Thank You to Our
Pack Leader Sponsors:

Davidson Belluso

Jana & Mark Wilcke

Silicon Valley Bank
Tyler Allen Law Firm

Thank You to Our
Pet Partner Sponsors:

21st Century
Accelerated Consulting Group
DogFeed Logo with SMG
Fetch for Pets_logo
Floral Impressions Logo
New Freshpet Logo small
Layfield Packaging
Redbarn pet products


March 10
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
4949 E Lincoln Dr
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
(480) 627-3200


The Arizona Pet Project