SAN DIEGO (CNS) - One of the eight finalists for the "American Hero Dog" award is Ricochet, an Escondido canine that surfs with special needs children and people with disabilities, the American Humane Society announced Tuesday.
Ricochet, whose activities are for therapeutic purposes, counterbalances the boards so surfers do not fall off. The 3-year-old golden retriever also makes fundraising appearances, and YouTube videos featuring the canine have gone viral.
After more than 300,000 public votes were cast online, Ricochet won a category called "Emerging Hero Dogs."
His competition for the grand prize includes winners in the Law Enforcement and Arson Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Guide Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs and Hearing Dogs divisions.
"Every dog nominated is a bona fide hero," said Robin Ganzert, president and chief executive officer of the American Humane Association. "Every day, across America, dogs protect, comfort and give their unconditional friendship and affection to the ill, the infirm, the wounded veteran and the frightened child."
Voting for the American Hero Dog will be done by the public and a celebrity panel that includes Victoria Stilwell, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Kristin Chenoweth, Jillian Michaels and animal care experts such as Wendy Diamond.
The judging period will continue until Sept. 30th.
The winner will be announced at the Hero Dog Awards celebrity gala at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles on Oct. 1. The show will be televised and shown on the Hallmark Channel on Nov. 11.
Cal Fire is at the scene of a wildfire burning off State Route 94 near Church Road in the Campo Indian Reservation.
A small plane crashed Saturday evening near the El Capitan Reservoir, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department confirmed.
Backers of an initiative that would allow San Diego State University to buy the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley for campus expansion are scheduled to begin seeking petition signatures Saturday.
Friends and relatives of a couple whose bodies were found in Joshua Tree National Park say they believe the two got lost while hiking in the sprawling desert park and struggled in the searing heat with little food or water before they died in a "sympathetic murder-suicide."
Sunshine and higher temperatures are making the return to San Diego County Saturday after intermittent drizzle across the region on Friday.
President Donald Trump is portraying the Islamic State group's ouster from its Syrian stronghold as a milestone in the U.S. fight against terrorism and a step toward a political transition and lasting peace in Syria.
The San Diego Police Department announced Saturday that officers will step up pedestrian safety enforcement operations.
The San Diego Gulls allowed power-play and shorthanded goals in the first period and an empty-net goal in the third in a 4-2 loss to the Stockton Heat Friday night at Stockton.
Authorities asked the public Friday for help in identifying and tracking down a pair of thieves who have carried out a two-week series of bank robberies this month in the San Diego area.