North Bay's Sara Carson is a finalist in the 2017 "Greatmats National Dog Trainer of the Year." Carson now lives in San Diego.
The young entertainer and dog trainer shot to fame earlier this year finishing in the top five of America's Got Talent.
The Wisconsin-based specialty flooring manufacturer is awarding a series of national awards for athletic instructors as well as animal trainers who have made a positive impact on their respective communities.
"The national awards are designed to honour those instructors, trainers and coaches in the USA that have made a positive difference in the lives of their students and community by utilizing service, integrity and quality," says the website.
The 2017 Grand Prizes include the following for each winner:
- $250 in Greatmats Products (or $150 Cash Option) for the winner's related business
- Winner profile story
- Greatmats national award certificate
Sara is up against Dee Hoult of Applause Your Paws in Miami, Florida. The two trainers compiled nearly 2,500 of the more than 3,800 votes cast in the 3rd annual contest.
The winner will be announced this Friday Dec. 15.
Carson also has a huge lead in voting for North Bay's Newsmaker of the Year on BayToday.
Her bio on the Greatmats website reads, "Widely recognized as one of the world's best trick dog instructors after appearances on the Ellen Degeneres Show, Late Show with David Letterman and America's Got Talent, Sara Carson has overcome the odds to earn that designation.
"Her decision to choose dog training as a career path was not well received by her family, many of which she hasn't spoken with in years.
"Her North American tour, which got her much of her well-earned recognition began while she was living out of her car. She turned to dogs for comfort at a time when there was very little coming from anywhere else.
"Together, she and her dog Hero set out to prove to her family that they could be successful at something they loved. This year, Sara and Hero made all the way to the finals of the 12th season of America's Got Talent."
Learn more about the 3rd Annual National Dog Trainer of the Year Contest or Greatmats National Award Series.