Skip to content

Dakin Humane Society Announces 2024 Humane Award Nominations

Springfield, MA (4/1/24) – Beginning Monday, April 1, Dakin Humane Society will be accepting nominations from the public for its Dakin Humane Awards until June 30.  Nominees should be people or organizations that go out of their way to care for animals in need, people who volunteer to help animals, or people and/or animals who have provided significant public service or shown courage in a crisis.

Finalists in each of the award categories will be picked from among the nominees and notified of their selection in August.  The awards will be presented at a special event to be held at Dakin on September 11, 2024.


There are six awards to be bestowed. They are:

Youth Award This award honors a hero, 16 years or younger, whose extraordinary care and compassion makes a difference in the life of an animal, and makes the world a kinder and gentler place.

Champion Award – This award honors an individual in the public or non-profit sector who has faithfully served and made life better for tens of thousands of animals and people in western Massachusetts.

Richard and Nathalie Woodbury Philanthropy Award This award pays homage 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.

Distinguished Animal Award – This award recognizes an exceptional animal (and handler when applicable) whose extraordinary devotion to people has proven transformative or lifesaving in challenging or exceptional circumstances.

Corporate Leadership Award – This award is presented to a business or its corporate foundation of any size that demonstrates outstanding commitment to improving the lives of animals through employee giving, volunteerism, or partnership.

Frances M. Wells Award – This award is given to an individual recognized for notable contributions to the health and welfare of animals.


“The Humane Awards recognize individuals within our community that are making a difference for animals,” said Stacey Price, director of development and marketing at Dakin. “The people nominated demonstrate exemplary service and compassion and are an inspiration for others. Their efforts raise awareness about animal welfare issues and service. Together, we celebrate and acknowledge their acts of compassion towards animals that help create a culture of empathy and advocacy in our community.”

Nominations are being accepted online only at Mail-in nominations will not be accepted. Nominees should be residents of central or western Massachusetts or northern Connecticut.

After June 30, nominations will be reviewed by Dakin Humane Society’s directors and staff, and finalists will be selected. After that, a panel of independent judges will select the winners by voting in each category. The decisions will be based solely on the content of the nomination forms. Nominators are asked to provide thoughtful, concise and specific examples of their nominees’ efforts on behalf of animals.

Dakin Humane Society, located in Springfield, MA, is a 501 (c) (3) organization that delivers effective, innovative services that improve the lives of animals in need and the people who care about them. In a typical year, the organization shelters, treats and fosters more than 20,000 animals and has performed over 122,000 spay/neuter surgeries since 2009, making it one of New England’s largest spay/neuter providers. Dakin’s Pet Health Center, a non-emergency veterinary resource for pet dogs and cats, opened in 2022 and has treated more than 5,000 pets. Dakin is a local non-profit organization that relies solely on contributions from individuals and businesses that care about animals to bring its services to the community. For more information, visit

Recipients of the 2023 Dakin Humane Awards are shown (from left): Marina Bayeva, Jerry Marchand (kneeling), Adam Ransom of VCA Animal Hospitals, Animal Control Officer Jessicah Gower, and Officer Matthew Llewelyn and K-9 Frank (missing from photo: Kristen Hughes and Nicolette LaVoie from Milton Bradley School). Photo by Danielle Cookish, Dakin Humane Society.



Lee Chambers, Media Relations and Development Specialist, 413.519.3767 (cell; not for publication),