We learned this week that 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Gabe is no longer with us. Gabe was living in a Houston, TX shelter before he was selected for training by the United States Army. Gabe’s human partner was Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Shuck. After passing training, they deployed to Iraq in 2006. While there, Gabe participated in 210 combat missions and completed 26 finds of weapons and explosives. On Gabe’s website, it says that Sgt. Shuck and Gabe hugged before every mission, their bond was just that strong. When he wasn’t on active combat missions, Gabe provided support to the troops in Iraq. Gabe is just one example of how saving a pet’s life can also save human lives.
Gabe and Sgt. Shuck’s bond extended past the battlefield. Gabe retired from the Army in 2009 and was adopted by Sgt. Shuck. Back in the United States, Gabe and Sgt. Shuck volunteered at events and schools, inspiring and helping people. In October 2012, Gabe was named the 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog.
Sgt. Shuck and Gabe helped draw attention to the potential of shelter and rescue pets. They shared adoptable dogs from all over the United States on Gabe’s Facebook page, helping save even more lives. Looking through the page, the love that was shared between Sgt. Shuck and Gabe is obvious. A photograph of Gabe’s canine sister, Lena, smelling his things was posted earlier today. Sgt. Shuck wrote that both of Gabe’s adopted canine siblings are missing Gabe as much as he is.
The thoughts of the entire Petfinder family are with Sgt. Shuck. He and Gabe were a team who saved and touched countless lives. Thank you, Sgt. Shuck, for fully embracing Gabe and working with him to inspire and save people and pets. We are saddened for the loss of Gabe but certain that his legacy will continue to inspire heroes of all species.