Even though Hansel the pit bull is still alive, it is a little bit of a wonder that he is still alive. However, the hero dog is doing more than just surviving; he is also trying to help his local fire department save lives and fight stereotypes about his breed.
Despite the fact that he was only seven weeks old at the time of his rescue, Hansel was taken from an alleged Canadian dogfighting ring. His death was still set for the next day, even though he’d never fought. The Throw Away Canines Project, which trains dogs to become K-9 cops in the Philadelphia region, rescued him and placed him in a shelter in Florida until he was rescued by the Throw-Away Dogs Project and taken away.
And it was via this process that he and Millville Fire Department fireman Tyler Van Leer came into contact. Van Leer addressed his chief in the summer of 2019 and inquired about the possibility of acquiring a department dog, one that would aid in fire detection while also serving as a community ambassador and ambassador for the department. After getting some assistance from a friend who was a police officer and Carol Skaziak, the creator of Throw Away Dogs, he went to the firehouse in September and met Hansel for the first time.
In Van Leer’s words, “the link began when he stepped out of his van and we locked gazes,” as reported by Daily Paws. “I had a feeling he could sense it as well.”
The newlyweds enrolled at the school the next month, where they concentrated on smell training. More than 3,000 searches were done by Hansel, who will graduate in January 2020. He has now been trained as an arson detection dog, and he is capable of detecting the presence of ignitable substances such as kerosene and lighter fluid.
The cause of an October 2020 fire was discovered by Hansel’s nose last year, leading to an arrest, according to Van Leer. More recently, he discovered lighter fluid that had been used in a warehouse fire and was linked to it. Four people were apprehended as a result of the inquiry, which was aided in part by the pit bull.
“No one realized a pit bull could do such a task as scent work,” Van Leer explains.
He’ll often question audiences at community gatherings to determine what breed Hansel is based on his appearance. Bloodhound? Do you have a German shepherd? Do you have a Labrador retriever? Belgian Malinois, perhaps? Even though most people are shocked by the response, they quickly fall in love with the youngster who provides it: Hansel, a joyful boy with a wide grin who enjoys carrying about his favorite toy. It’s not what most people see when they think of a pit bull, a dog that is viewed as dangerous by the general public.
The way Van Leer sees it, “that’s how he’s eradicating the stigma.” “He’s a genuine rock star,” says the narrator.
Speaking of becoming a celebrity, Hansel is a finalist for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards, where he is nominated in the area of Law Enforcement and Detection. The winner of the Hero Dog competition for the year 2021 will be revealed on Wednesday, October 20 at 9 p.m. eastern time on Hallmark Drama.
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