WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The Humane Society of the United States says it has named Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier from "The Artist," as spokesdog for its Pets of Valor Award.
To be presented June 2, the award celebrates the human-animal bond by honoring rescued or adopted dogs and cats that exhibited an extraordinary sense of courage or resolve by heroically helping a person in need, the organization said in a news release Wednesday.
"Uggie's honored to have been chosen by The Humane Society of the United States to be spokesdog for The Pets of Valor Award, although he did hesitate at first when he heard that cats were to be included, but now he likes the idea of having an excuse to bark for them, instead of at them," Omar Von Muller, Uggie's owner and trainer, said in a statement.
"It's always gratifying when a star of Uggie's magnitude takes time out of his busy schedule to give back. As spokesdog for The Humane Society of the United States' Pets of Valor Award, Uggie proves he's a hero both on and off screen by advocating for the adoption of his fellow companion animals," said Beverly Kaskey, senior director of HSUS' Hollywood Outreach.
Dogs and cats who have committed heroic acts between Jan. 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 can be nominated for the award at humanesociety.org/petsofvalor.
HSUS' animal experts will select five finalists, based on the significance and impact of the dog's or cat's valor, and the winner will be chosen by a public online vote that runs May 24-31.
In "The Artist," which won the Best Picture Oscar in 2012, Uggie can be seen rescuing his owner in a fire.