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K-9 Hansel, the 2021 Law Enforcement and Detection Hero Dog

Once considered a throwaway dog, Millville Fire Department’s K-9 Hansel is one step away from the 2021 American Hero Dog title. The brave pup overcame breed prejudice and a challenging puppyhood before becoming an arson investigator and serving his community.

K-9 Hansel was only 7 weeks old when he was seized from an alleged dog fighting ring in Ontario, Canada. One cannot own a pit bull in the province of Ontario, so Hansel and 20 other pit bulls were slated for euthanasia. A rescue organization waged a two-year legal battle to spare the dogs’ lives, but the final ruling essentially banished the pit bulls from Ontario.

Hansel ended up in Florida where he found the opportunity to become a working dog through Throw Away Dogs Project. From there, his keen scent detection skills brought him to New Jersey and the Millville Fire Department.

Hansel teamed up with firefighter Tyler Van Leer and after 16 weeks of intensive training, he became the first pit bull to be certified in accelerant detection in the United States – a monumental achievement!

Not only is K-9 Hansel an amazing firefighter, but he is as sweet as can be. He can teach fire prevention, while also showing people that pit bulls are not dangerous. K-9 Hansel is the 2021 Law Enforcement and Detection Hero Dog and could potentially be crowned this year’s American Hero Dog! Vote for K-9 Hansel at

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