A couple of months ago, I told you about two New Jersey dogs that were in a contest by the American Humane Hero Dog competition. Well, one of them has won its division.

Hansel, a K-9 from Millville, won the Law Enforcement and Detection division, which makes him eligible for the overall title.

K9 Hansel, a pitbull, was rescued from a dog fighting ring in Canada at seven weeks old and was slated for euthanizing before being saved. Eventually, Hansel was accepted into a working dog program and underwent 16 weeks of training. According to his bio, he was the first pitbull to be certified in accelerant detection in the United States, and can recognize 14 different ignitable liquid odors. His partner, Millville Firefighter Tyler Van Lee says, “He really is the best partner and a rockstar.”

For the contest, the dogs are divided into seven categories: Guide/Hearing, Law Enforcement and Detection, Military, Search and Rescue, Service, Shelter, and Therapy.

The next step is voting for the overall winner; in a statement, American Human CEO said, “Now, the public and our blue-ribbon panel of animal experts and celebrity animal lovers have an extraordinarily tough task ahead of them in deciding who the nation’s top dog will be. We wish all of these heroic hounds the best of luck.”

The other New Jersey semifinalist, Cole, also of Millville, didn’t make it to the final round out of the Therapy division

Voting is open until Sep. 7 and you can vote once a day. If you want to vote for Hansel, go here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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