Dakin Humane Society's Humane Awards


Now accepting nominations through July 31, 2020!

Do you know a hero? Is there someone in your life who goes out of their way to care for animals in need? A young person who volunteers their time to help animals? An animal that showed amazing public service or courage in a crisis?* You can nominate them to be honored for a Dakin Humane Award.  Each year Dakin Humane Society will recognize extraordinary people and a superstar animal who are heroes in their communities.

The Humane Awards are a celebration of our community and the individuals who actively improve the lives of animals in need and the people who care about them by embracing Dakin’s mission in their everyday life and treatment of animals.

The awards consist of multiple community-based award categories along with a philanthropy and a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of individuals making a positive difference in lives of animals and people. The honorees and finalists represent all ages and walks of life and demonstrate their commitment and concern for animals through their life and work. Humane Awards honor members of the community who share Dakin's belief that the way we treat animals reflects our communities' health.


Award Types & Descriptions


Frances M. Wells Award - An award that originated during Dakin Humane Society’s earliest years in honor of Greenfield Animal Shelter’s benefactor, Frances M. Wells, for whom the shelter was originally named after to recognize her contribution in building the area’s first animal shelter. This award is given to an individual recognized for notable contributions to the Health and Welfare of Animals. (Public nomination and voting)

Youth Award - This award honors a hero, 16 years or younger, who through the display of extraordinary care and compassion makes a difference in the life of an animal and makes the world a kinder and gentler place. (Public nomination and voting)

Champion Award - Honors a public servant who faithfully served and made life better for tens of thousands of animals and people in western Massachusetts. This award honors the dedication and compassion on behalf of animals and people in need. (Public nomination and voting)

Richard and Nathalie Woodbury Philanthropy Award - Named after the couple whose vision and legacy secured Dakin’s future. This award is given to an individual who displays a remarkable sense of stewardship in sharing time, talent and financial resources to improve the lives of animals and people who love them. (Public nomination and voting)

Animal Hero Award - Award to recognize an exceptional animal and handler (when applicable) whose valor and extraordinary devotion to people proved lifesaving in disastrous or challenging heath circumstances. (Public nomination and voting)




-Nominees will be considered for the awards based on details submitted in the online nomination form.

-Mail in nominations will not be accepted.

-Nominations may be submitted through Friday, July 31, 2020 no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard time.

-Dakin Humane Society will verify the factual basis of the submitted nominations and may request substantiating information from nominees and others. Dakin Humane Society reserves the right to request and require additional information from nominees in order to have their nomination considered. False, deceptive, unsubstantiated nominations or acts may render a nominee ineligible.

-Nominee and Nominator Information will not be shared or sold.

Nomination Eligibility

-Nominations may be self-nominations or by another person.

-The nominee must reside in Central or Western MA or Northern CT.

-Nominee has made impactful accomplishments or contributions which have positively influenced the lives of animals or people through animals in our community.

-Nominee demonstrates unwavering passion and commitment to animals and has made a difference in the lives of others.

-Nominee exemplifies compassion towards others and professionalism.

-Submitting duplicate identical nominations for a nominee does not increase the chances of the nominee being selected.

-Nominations must be received through the online form. Nominations via mail or email will not be accepted. No exceptions.

-Nominees cannot be a member of the judges panel or individual with voting privileges.

Nomination and Recognition

-Finalists will be notified in August and invited to attend a reception (in-person or virtual) to take place at a date to be announced and in compliance with COVID-19 in-person gathering guidelines.

-Winners will be announced at that time

-All winners and finalists will be profiled in a Dakin publication and on social media.


-Finalists will be selected by select Dakin Humane Society’s Directors and Staff. Once finalists have been identified a panel of independent judges will select the winner by voting for each category.

Nomination Form

-The panel of judges will base their decisions solely on the nomination form. Please provide thoughtful, well-developed and concise responses for your nominee’s full consideration with specific examples.

2019 Humane Award Winners

Frances M. Wells Award - Paige Pinney & Lorie Page

Paige Pinney

(Paige Pinney)

Read about Paige & Lorie here


Youth Award - Lillian Barden

Read about Lillian here


Champion Award - Senator James Welch

Read about Senator Welch here


Richard and Nathalie Woodbury Philanthropy Award - The late Mary Almeida

Read about Mary here


Animal Hero Award - Officer Joel Wun & K-9 Partner Xito

Read about them here