A retired military working dog named Gabe, and his owner Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shuck, nabbed top honors this weekend at the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards.
Gabe is a rescue dog who lived in a Texas animal shelter before being adopted and trained by the military. As Gabe writes on his Facebook page:
I started my duty in 2006 when I deployed to Iraq. I was fortunate enough to work with some truly amazing soldiers. My job was to find hidden guns and explosives and to help keep our soldiers safe. While deployed, I completed over 210 combat missions with 26 finds of explosives and weapons. I also visited wounded troops in combat hospitals and visited children in elementary schools.
Gabe retired from the U.S. Army in 2009, and was adopted by his handler, Sgt. 1st Class Shuck. Gabe and Shuck now spend their time trying to bring awareness to folks about the plight of shelter dogs, and the importance of adopting these very special canines into a forever home.
The American Humane Association awarded Gabe and Shuck $10,000 for being named 2012 American Hero Dog. The duo is donating their prize money to the United States War Dogs Association, according to WACH-TV.
Oh, yeah - and Gabe got to have his picture taken with Betty White. Go Gabe!