Meet Our HomeAgain Hero

Meet Our
HomeAgain Hero Judges

Our renowned judges will select 5 finalists to compete
for your votes and the title of HomeAgain Hero of the Year.

  • Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger & Lorrie Sullenberger

    Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger & Lorrie Sullenberger

    Hero & Animal Rights Lovers

    Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety for his entire adult life. While best known for the "Miracle on the Hudson," he is also an author, speaker, accident investigator, the CBS News Aviation and Safety Expert, and the founder and chief executive officer of Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., a company dedicated to management, safety, performance, and reliability consulting. Capt. Sullenberger became internationally renowned on January 15, 2009 when he and his crew safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City's frigid Hudson River. The Airbus A320's two engines had lost thrust following a bird strike. He and his crew received international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery. Capt. Sullenberger was ranked second in Time's "Top 100 Most Influential Heroes and Icons of 2009," and was awarded the French Legion of Honor.

    Capt. Sullenberger and his wife, Lorrie, are also avid animal lovers. Lorrie is a 25-year volunteer for Guide Dogs for the Blind and a ten-year volunteer with Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, or ARF. Lorrie and the couple's two daughters have trained two Guide Dog puppies, preparing them as future working guides. Lorrie was also an ARF 2012 Hope Award recipient for her work fostering newborn bottle kittens. In addition to her work with animals, Lorrie serves on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters Bay Area and is a longtime women's wellness advocate and fitness expert.

  • Steve Dale

    Steve Dale

    Steve Dale's Pet World

    Steve Dale, CABC (certified animal behavior consultant), writes a twice-weekly syndicated newspaper column (Tribune Media Services, since 1995) and is a contributing editor at USA Weekend (since 2002) and blog Petphoria. He is the host of two nationally syndicated radio shows, Steve Dale's Pet World and The Pet Minute and a columnist and special correspondent for Cat Fancy. And makes frequent TV appearances, from various programs on Animal Planet to "The Oprah Winfrey Show." He speaks frequently at veterinary and animal welfare conferences. Steve is a founder of the CATalyst Council and served on the Board of Directors from 2008 to 2012. He's also on the Board of Directors of the Winn Feline Foundation and Tree House Humane Society in Chicago. Steve created the Chicago Task Force on Companion Animals and Public Safety (2000-2010). He was first recipient of the Winn Feline Foundation Media Appreciation Award and in 2012, became the youngest person ever inducted into the Dog Writer's Association of America Hall of Fame. And is a recipient of the AVMA Humane Award, Editor & Publisher Feature Writer of the Year and many other honors.

    After his beloved cat Ricky passed away in 2002 of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), Steve created a fund to raise money to research this often fatal disease. The fund has raised well over $100,000 – and as a direct result a genetic test was created to determine if a gene defect for HCM exists for two breeds. Steve serves on the advisory board for a national animal assisted therapy organization called Angel on A Leash and on an organizing committee for the International Organization Human-Animal Interactions Organizations.

  • Betsy Saul

    Betsy Saul

    Co-Founder of

    Betsy Saul is the creator The first website of its kind, Petfinder is on a mission to see that no pet is euthanized for lack of a home and to increase the value of the family pet. Almost 15 years of consistent and steady growth translates to more than two million adoptions annually. Betsy was named by Woman's Day magazine as one of fifty "Women Who Are Changing The World." In 2005 Betsy co-founded, which has become the adoption and training video initiative of Petfinder and Anima In 2006, Discovery Communications acquired in what Ad Age magazine called one of the "best (and sweetest) acquisitions of the year."

    Betsy is also co-founder and chairman of the board of the Petfinder Foundation and serves on the board of directors of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs and She serves on the expert panel for Dognition, on the Advisory Board for the Wake County SPCA and on the Board of Overseers for Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine for Tufts University. Her latest adventure is a start-up called Heal House Call Veterinarian.

    Prior to creating Petfinder, Betsy worked as an urban forester for the State of New Jersey, as an agriculture extension agent at Rutgers University, as a park ranger at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska, and as a field scientist for the Army Corps of Engineers in South Carolina. Betsy’s family includes a diversity of animals ranging from Missy, the black Angus cow, who loves to have her belly rubbed, to the diminutive Sydney, the box turtle, who has recently learned to recognize her name.

  • Dr. Jane Brunt

    Dr. Jane Brunt

    American Association of Feline Practitioners Past President

    Dr. Brunt graduated from Kansas State University with the intent of pursuing an "All Creatures Great and Small" career. Over the years her interests transitioned from farm to feline, and in 1984, only four years after finishing veterinary school, Dr. Brunt founded Cat Hospital At Towson (CHAT) in Baltimore, Maryland, the first feline-exclusive veterinary hospital in the state. Dr. Brunt opened a second practice, the Cat Hospital Eastern Shore in Cordova, Md., in June of 2001. Both hospitals became accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association in 2002.

    She has served in leadership roles of many local, state and national organizations, and since 2008 she has been serving as Executive Director to CATalyst Council, a coalition of veterinary organizations, shelter professionals, commercial groups, members of the media and other stakeholders in cat care and welfare. The CATalyst mission is "to ensure that all cats are valued and cared for as pets," and the Council has developed many user-friendly resources for cat-friendliness.

    Dr. Brunt has co-authored articles in several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) and the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (JFMS), and has been cited in several consumer print publications such as Cat Fancy and Cat Watch. She has also appeared on radio and television to educate the public about numerous cat health issues.

  • Brian Kilcommons

    Brian Kilcommons

    Author & Award Winning Dog Trainer

    An unconditional love for animals and a deep-rooted sense of justice are the cornerstones of Brian Kilcommons success as a companion animal trainer. A multifaceted author, reporter, TV host, video producer, educational consultant, pet industry spokesman, lecturer and master trainer, Brian is supremely qualified to assume the mantle of authority on a wide range of animal issues. Throughout his career spanning almost thirty years, Brian has witnessed and addressed a myriad of human/animal relationships; from the tragic to the sublime, the dramatic to the frivolous.

    Recognized for his achievements by both the NYS and Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Associations for his impact on animals in the media, Brian published nine books and spent 15 years as a part time faculty member at the Cummings Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine. He was pet contributor to Parade Magazine and has contributed articles to various national publications. He has appeared on national television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, 20/20 and PBS. His knowledge, insight and empathy with animals has enlightened pet owners and enthusiasts around the world.

    From mountain tops in Italy to yachts in Nassau, from rambling homes in Palm Beach to townhouses in or of the world's elite, included in Brian Kilcommons' list of clients are such famous names as: Diane Sawyer, Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd, Diana Ross, Ralph Lauren, Morley Safer, Linda Dano, Elsa Peretti, Carley Simon, Patrick Ewing, Mike Nichols, and Maureen McGovern. For more information visit