FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) - Of all the heroic service K-9 officers, retired Sergeant 1st Class Gabe is top dog.
American Humane Association announced Gabe won the Hero Dog contest Saturday night at a gala event in Beverly Hills.
Gabe served a successful 170 combat patrols and is now stationed at Fort Jackson.
Gabe spent several years in Iraq where he helped to make 26 finds during his combat patrols. In those years, he was also a highly-decorated dog that received three Army Commendation medals, an Army Achievement medal, and almost 40 coins of excellence.
"Everyday we'd go out for 18 hour searches and he was a trooper," SSgt. Chuck Shuck, Gabe's handler, said. "We'd be stuffed into a humvee and the gunner would be stepping all over him, but he'd just find a place to sleep and when it was time to work he went out there and did his thing."
The American Kennel Club also recognized Gabe with the 2008 Heroic Military Working Dog Award medal.
Gabe began life as a pound puppy in Houston, Texas, and was adopted and trained by the Army to sniff out weapons, munitions, and other items.
Even though Gabe is retired, he remains active by visiting wounded veterans.
Their charity is the U.S. War Dogs Association, a group that helps retired dogs like Gabe get adopted.