Outstanding Feature Film

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom—Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment


  • Director: J.A. Bayona
  • Writers: Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow, based on characters created by Michael Crichton
  • Producers: Frank Marshall, Patrick Crowley and Belén Atienza
  • Executive Producers: Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow

Drawing parallels with the real world exploitation and trafficking of animals, the latest film in the $5 billion franchise delivers the timely message that all living creatures deserve to be free from suffering. When the imminent eruption of a volcano threatens to destroy the island habitat of dinosaurs, a mission is launched to transport the animals to a sanctuary, but the rescuers are confronted with poachers intent on selling off the endangered dinosaurs for millions. Touching on many animal protection concerns from zoo captivity to animal experimentation, the film is a metaphor for mankind’s exploitation of the natural world and the consequences of those actions.

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Outstanding Documentary Film

Eating Animals—Big Star Pictures


  • Director: Christopher Dillon Quinn
  • Writers: Christopher Dillon Quinn and Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Producer/Narrator: Natalie Portman

Through intimate narratives, “Eating Animals” presents a compelling case against factory farming by examining its harmful effects on animals, the environment and the farmers themselves. Looking towards a future of more plant-based eating, the film explores innovative technologies that don’t rely on the raising and killing of animals.

Love & Bananas—An Elephant Story—STARZ


  • Director: Ashley Bell
  • Writers: Ashley Bell, John Michael McCarthy, and Fernanda Rossi
  • Producers: Ashley Bell, John Michael McCarthy, Ross M. Dinerstein. Executive Producers, David and Pam Casselman, Roddy Tabatabai, Steve Bannerman, Ian Hultquist, Sofia Hultquist, Leandro Marini and Samantha Housman
  • Executive Producers: David and Pam Casselman

“Love & Bananas” chronicles famed elephant advocate and sanctuary owner Lek Chailert’s rescue of an aging Asian elephant from a trekking business in Thailand.  While much of the film’s focus is on the lives of elephants abused and exploited by the tourist industry, it also draws attention to the many other threats facing Asia’s declining elephant population, such as deforestation and urban encroachment.

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Outstanding Talk Show

The Ellen DeGeneres Show—Syndicated


  • Executive Producers: Ellen DeGeneres, Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin, Andy Lassner, Kevin A. Leman II
  • Co-Executive Producer: Matt Wright
  • Senior Field Producer: Aaron Pinkston

To honor Ellen DeGeneres’ lifelong admiration for primatologist Dian Fossey, wife Portia de Rossi presents her on-air with a surprise birthday gift of The Ellen Fund to help continue Fossey’s gorilla conservation work in Rwanda. It is the gift that keeps on giving with multiple subsequent show segments that highlight the importance of protecting these magnificent creatures and attest to Ellen and Portia’s passion for bringing animal protection issues to the show’s huge audience.

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Outstanding Children's Programming

Sesame Street “Kitty Kindness”—HBO


  • Director: Chuck Vinson 
  • Writer: Jessica Carleton 
  • Head Writer: Ken Scarborough
  • Executive Producer: Brown Johnson
  • Supervising Producer: Benjamin Lehmann
  • Coordinating Producer: Mindy Fila
  • Line Producer: Stephanie Longardo
  • Producer: Karyn Leibovich

A delightfully quintessential Sesame Street take on what to do when finding a lost cat and how to care for the animal while trying to find his or her real pet parent. This “kitty care 101” hits all the right marks, culminating with a chorus line of Sesame Street tigers and tabby cats singing, “Stripes go with everything!”

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Outstanding Documentary Series

Dogs: “Bravo, Zeus”—Netflix


A Disarming Films Production in association with Zipper Brothers Films for Netflix

  • Director: Amy Berg
  • Executive Producers: Glen Zipper and Amy Berg

The moving story of a Syrian refugee forced to leave behind his beloved dog Zeus and the valiant efforts of his war-torn community to reunite him with his dog. This haunting documentary is a powerful testament to the emotional bond between humans and their companion animals, and the comfort and meaning animals bring to people living in adverse circumstances.

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Outstanding Reality Series

Amanda to the Rescue: Wildfire Puppy Rescue—Animal Planet


  • Executive Producers for Indigo Films: David M. Frank and Christopher Voos
  • Executive Producer for Animal Planet: Keith Hoffman
  • Supervising Producer for Animal Planet: Sarah Russell

With her indomitable can-do attitude, Amanda is the heart and soul of her family-run animal rescue group, which has a mission to provide refuge for dogs with medical or special needs.  Always true to her credo that “kindness is cool,” Amanda goes above and beyond to find forever homes for these animals that she demonstrates have so much to give.

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Outstanding TV Special

The 2018 American Rescue Dog Show—Hallmark Channel


  • Executive Producers: Michael Levitt, Jennifer Schulz
  • Co-Executive Producers: Jill Goularte, Paula Frank
  • Producer: Gary Tellalian
  • Coordinating Producer: Dimitra Molossi
  • Director: Gregg Gelfand
  • Writer: Paul Flattery

A wonderful celebration of all kinds of rescue dogs and what makes them special, this definitely ranks as Best in Dog Shows! It never misses an opportunity to drive home all the right messages about spay/neuter, the availability of special breeds at shelters and rescues, the problem of overcrowded shelters and euthanasia, as well as the important role of fostering. The American Rescue Dog Show promotes adoption to the hilt, while keeping the viewer smiling throughout.

The Dog Bowl—Animal Planet


  • Executive Producers: Simon Morris and Dawn Sinsel
  • Producers: Lizzie Turkenvich and Pat Dempsey 
  • Director: Richi Wirth 
  • Host & Consulting Producer: Jill Rappaport 
  • Referee: Dan Schachner

The perfect companion to the network’s top-rated Puppy Bowl and hosted by TV reporter and senior dog advocate Jill Rappaport, The Dog Bowl is a fun, informative and much needed showcase for the unsung qualities of senior dogs and the rewards that come with adopting them.  As Jill enthuses, “Open your hearts and homes to an older dog. You’ll be saving their lives and enhancing your own.

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Outstanding National TV Newsmagazine

60 Minutes—The Wolves of Yellowstone—CBS-TV


  • Executive Editor: Bill Owens 
  • Correspondent: Bill Whitaker 
  • Producers: Rome Hartman and Sara Kuzmarov
  • Editor: Michael Mongulla

This report on the thriving Yellowstone Park wolf population highlights the majesty of the species and illustrates why wolf eco-tourism is booming. Responsible for rejuvenating the region’s ecology, the wolves’ reintroduction remains opposed by ranchers, but the recent relaxation on hunting restrictions has ironically led to the acceptance that these essential predators are back to stay.

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Outstanding Local News Series

Fox 31 Denver KDVR-TV


  • Investigative Reporter: Chris Halsne
  • Photojournalist: Isaias Medina
  • Producer: Serena Ung
  • Producer: Carisa Scott

Multi-Genesis award-winning reporter Halsne’s investigation into SeaQuest, a mall-based pet store and petting zoo that markets itself as an educational facility. Responding to numerous customer complaints and uncovering multiple animal welfare violations, the series reveals the extent of SeaQuest’s shameful neglect and exploitation of animals.

WEWS-TV News, Cleveland, Ohio


  • Investigative Reporter: Tara Molina
  • Photographer: Mike Harris

Reporter Tara Molina exposes the USDA’s redaction of its puppy mill inspection reports and the way it affects the rights of consumers. In a series of reports, she investigates the puppy mill problem in Ohio—from the appalling conditions endured by the dogs, the lax laws protecting them, the loopholes protecting problem breeders and the families that are duped into buying sick animals. Molina asks why does the USDA protect the privacy of breeders who are in violation of the law and not the animals?

WJLA TV—ABC 7 News, Washington, D.C.   


  • Investigative Reporter: Scott Taylor
  • Photojournalists: Jim Joslyn and April Chunko
  • Producer: Morgan Gilliam
  • Executive Producer: Holly Shannon

Former Genesis Award winner Scott Taylor exposes a USDA research lab’s 37-year program of breeding and unnecessarily euthanizing thousands of adoptable kittens in food-borne disease experiments. Taylor’s tenacious reporting helped lead to the Kitten Act of 2018 in Congress and paved the way to a USDA policy change which ended the practice of using cats in any lab experiments.

WJW Fox 8, Ohio


  • Reporters: Peggy and Ed Gallek
  • Photojournalists: Darsi Ayres and Billy Muhammed

An intrepid four-part investigation into Ohio's puppy mill industry, ranked second in the HSUS's Horrible One Hundred of the most and worst puppy mills in the nation. The reporting team attempts to visit previously cited facilities, which are now able to avoid public scrutiny, courtesy of the USDA censoring its records of puppy mills in violation of regulations. Their reporting led to state agencies increasing their number of mill inspectors.

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Above and Beyond Award

NBC4 (Los Angeles): Life Connected—Canine on Call


  • Reporter: Robert Kovacik
  • NBC4 News Team Producer: Yvonne Guevara
  • Photographer: Edwin Calderon
  • Editor: Matthew Arias

An extraordinary three-year series of reports dedicated to the story of Fergus, a Golden Retriever puppy found abandoned and severely burned by an acid attack. Prompting an overwhelming public response, the coverage of Fergus’ recovery led to his adoption by a loving family and a new role as a therapy dog working with burn victims. Thanks to Kovacik and the NBC4 team, we are reminded that cruelty cannot extinguish a dog’s pure spirit and trust in people.

KRON4 TV San Francisco


  • Producer, Host: Ken Wayne
  • Co-Host: Carole Moschetti

News anchor Ken Wayne becomes the center of an inspiring news story when he volunteers to pilot his own plane to transport orphaned bear cubs between animal rehabilitation centers in Lake Tahoe and Southern California, paving the way for their release back into the wild.

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Outstanding Feature Article

The New York Times—“Giraffe Part Sales are Booming in the U.S, and it’s legal”


  • Writer: Karen Weintraub 

Extensive coverage of HSUS's undercover investigation into the growing legal US market for luxury products made from giraffes slaughtered by trophy hunters. The article details efforts by the HSUS and others to place the giraffe, whose populations are plummeting, on the Endangered Species List, while noting the Safari Club International’s spurious argument that hunting somehow protects the species. It also cites the absurd claim made by a seller, who asserts that giraffes—famously gentle animals—are aggressive and must be killed to protect the lives of African villagers!

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Outstanding Editorials

Los Angeles Times—“Yes on Proposition 12. Let’s get rid of cages for hens for real”


A commonsense appeal in support of Prop 12, the measure designed to strengthen California’s humane farm practices. Explaining in detail its specifications for improving the living conditions of egg-laying hens and the requirement that all eggs sold in the state must come from cage-free hens by 2022, the editorial makes the case for what would become the most progressive farm animal welfare law in the world.

Los Angeles Times—“The Farm Bill doesn’t need amendment that helps let chickens be treated cruelly”


An incisive takedown of Rep Steve King’s proposed amendment to The Farm Bill, which attempted to nullify California’s humane egg-laying chicken laws, as well as weaken the state’s regulations governing the trade in shark fins and dogs and cats, and horses for human consumption.

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Outstanding Online

Huffington Post—“Giraffe Pillows and Bible Covers: New Report Details Booming Trade in U.S.”


  • Writer: Nick Visser 

Another important story based on the HSUS's undercover investigation into America's unregulated market in giraffe parts, which has allowed the import of some 40,000 parts in recent years. The shocking of list of so-called luxury items includes giraffe-leather bible covers that sell for $400 each. The article points out that since 1980 the wild giraffe population has fallen by an alarming 40% in what has been dubbed a “Silent Extinction” and has necessitated the HSUS petition to add giraffes to the Endangered Species List.

Earth Touch News Network—“Lobos in Limbo: The Halting Recovery of the Mexican Wolf”


  • Writer: Amy Mathews Amos

A thorough analysis of the precarious status of the endangered Mexican grey wolf in the American Southwest, which is continually hampered by the struggle between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, ranchers, conservationists and state authorities over appropriate wolf population numbers. The USFWS is facing a lawsuit for violating the Endangered Species Act for scaling back a plan that would have improved the sustainability of Mexican Grey Wolf by increasing the number of populations and range lands.

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Outstanding International Documentary Film

STROOP: Journey into the Rhino Horn War—SDBFilms


  • Producers: Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod
  • Director/Writer: Susan Scott
  • Narrator: Bonné de Bod

This sweeping, richly informative and deeply poignant film about rhino poaching delivers on the sense of mission of its filmmakers, who want the world to know about the complex web of factors and interests that are fuelling the rhino genocide. Never shying away from the grim realities, the film also reminds us of the beauty of these beleaguered animals, who share close mother and baby bonds similar to elephants, and why we must stand up to the corruption and cultural traditions that allow their slaughter to continue.

Yo Galgo


Produced by Skinny Dog Films ApS 

  • Writer/Director/Producer: Yeray López Portillo

A heart-wrenching look at the inhumane breeding and cruel exploitation of Spain’s Galgo dogs, a once prized canine that is now used and abused for hunting and racing. Much like the greyhound, the Galgo is bred as a sporting dog then discarded and killed in appalling ways after it’s outlived its purpose. An important film that benefits from the personal touch of its filmmaker, the proud adoptive parent of two Galgos.

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Outstanding International TV Series

Carte Blanche—Illegal Chicken Abattoirs—M-net 


  • Executive Producer: Wynand Grobler

  • Producer: Sasha Schwendenwein
  • Presenter: Macfarlane Moleli

A shocking exposé of the illegal, filthy, rat infested chicken abattoirs, run by impoverished immigrants, which are becoming increasingly common in the city of Johannesburg. The reporter observes that these abhorrent basement operations are like something out of a horror film and points out that the meat from these unsanitary facilities is being sold on the streets to unsuspecting customers. Fortunately the SPCA is doing its best to rescue these abused chickens, and an on-camera confrontation with a blasé city official led to the department tightening up its inspections.

Carte Blanche—Follow the Guns—M-net


  • Executive Producer: Wynand Grobler
  • Producers: Sasha Schwendenwein and Kathi-Lynn Austin

A fascinating investigation into the trans-national criminal network that enables the out-of-control poaching of rhino horn in South Africa’s Kruger Park. Spearheaded by an independent arms trafficking investigator, this groundbreaking short documentary reveals that poachers aren’t the real problem, it’s the intricate gun-running business which is traced to the Czech Republic and back to high level corrupt officials in Mozambique and South Africa that are supposed to working to protect wildlife.