Exceptional Animals and People Honored at the 2021 ASPCA Virtual Humane Awards
Every year at the ASPCA Humane Awards, we honor incredible animal and human heroes who reflect the ASPCA’s dedication to animal welfare and our mission of providing effective means for the prevention of animal cruelty and suffering.
Held virtually on October 13, 2021, and hosted by WNBC News Anchor Chuck Scarborough, this year’s event once again recognized people and animals from across the nation by sharing their inspiring stories of commitment, hope, and compassion.
Read about and watch official video profiles of each 2021 Humane Award winner:
ASPCA Dog of the Year: Loki
A sweet Rottweiler named Loki is a unique therapy dog and supporter of healthcare heroes at the University of Maryland Medical Center. When the COVID-19outbreak brought severe physical and emotional stress to healthcare workers in the Maryland area, Loki’s owner, medical student Caroline Benzel, helped Loki deliver “Hero Healing Kits” containing vital health and nutritional supplies to these workers and first responders throughout the state. Loki also delighted workers and raised their spirits with her fetching “Dogtor” attire. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Loki has delivered more than 7,000 kits to local medical professionals and has helped raise more than $100,000 to deliver more kits and other resources for first responders and healthcare workers, including food and personal protective equipment (PPE). Loki also continues to provide meaningful support at her hospital, whether by raising money, improving morale, delivering food and supplies for staff, educating people about the importance of therapy animals, or making patients’ stays at the hospital a little brighter.
ASPCA Kid of the Year: Evan Bisnauth
Eleven-year-old Evan Bisnauth leads a busy life in the Bronx, but he doesn’t let his many interests—or even a pandemic—deter him from his primary passion: helping socialize adoptable dogs at Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) by reading to them regularly. Always eager to help animals in need, Evan also creates amusing animations of ACC’s adoptable animals to help them get attention and ultimately be placed in safe and loving new homes.
ASPCA Equine Welfare Award: Retired Racehorse Project
The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) works to increase demand for off-track Thoroughbreds in the equestrian world. In addition to producing the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium—the world’s largest retraining competition for retired racehorses—the RRP also publishes Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, hosts off-track Thoroughbred retraining clinics and programming at major horse events around the country, and maintains the online Thoroughbred Sport Tracker (the internet’s only user-driven database tracking second career talents and accomplishments of registered Thoroughbreds).
ASPCA Henry Bergh Award: Oregon Humane Society
A longtime leader in the national animal sheltering community, Oregon Humane Society (OHS), based in Portland, Oregon, has always been an innovator of approaches and programs that most effectively meet the needs of vulnerable animals. The depth of OHS programs goes far beyond adoption, including dedicated work in behavior rehabilitation, veterinary education, government relations, animal crime forensics, and free and low-cost services for low-income residents. By conceiving, implementing, and demonstrating groundbreaking programs that respond to contemporary animal welfare challenges, OHS has become a model for the entire animal welfare field.
ASPCA Public Service Award: Christine Kim
As Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare, Christine Kim has been instrumental in advancing critical New York City animal welfare initiatives. She effectively unites the animal welfare community and city leaders to tackle issues including spay/neuter policies, animal hoarding, and crisis prevention. Christine also advocates strongly for the city’s animal shelter provider, Animal Care Centers of NYC, and played a key role in implementing a COVID pet hotline to help New York City's animal guardians during the pandemic.
ASPCA Corporate Compassion Award: Subaru of America
The largest corporate sponsor of the ASPCA, Subaru of America, Inc. consistently demonstrates a deep commitment to protecting animals in need and supporting the loving bond between pets and their owners. In recent years, Subaru has elevated this commitment through their Subaru Loves Pets initiative, annual Subaru Share the Love® Event, and National Make A Dog’s Day celebration, which shines a light on our nation’s “Underdogs”— special needs and senior animals in shelters. These pet-focused initiatives make a substantial impact on animals in need and make Subaru a brand that is more than a car company.
ASPCA Cat Advocate of the Year: Sterling “TrapKing” Davis
A rapper and full-time cat advocate, Sterling “TrapKing” Davis uses his talent and tenacity to teach his Atlanta community about the importance of spay/neuter surgery and caring for community cats. In 2017, Sterling formed his own nonprofit organization, TrapKing Humane Cat Solutions, to engage and activate his community, combining his dedication to saving cats with his love for making music. When he is not trapping cats in Atlanta, Sterling speaks at animal welfare conferences and provides insights on topics including the intersection of cultural bias and animal welfare.
Congratulations again to all our 2021 honorees! We hope they continue to inspire others to take action and advocate for animals in need.