Pit bull saved from a life of dog fighting to become first arson detection K-9 in US

Pit bull saved from a life of dog fighting to become first arson detection K-9 in US

Despite the ban on the barbaric practice of dog fighting, it still goes on.

Those that are saved from a life of abuse and cruelty often face health issues, not to mention the psychological scars caused by their treatment.

But for Hansel the pit bull, the story is quite different.

He was rescued in 2015 from a Canadian dog-fighting ring by Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

This hard-working hound then went through a rehabilitation and training program and is now the first pit bull arson-detection K-9 in the U.S.


Hansel is an integral part of the team at Millville Fire Department in New Jersey, with all the firefighters loving his boundless energy and enthusiasm for his very important role.

His handler, firefighter Tyler Van Leer, came up with the idea of adding an arson K-9 unit and said he knew instantly that Hansel was the right dog for the job.

‘It was like an instant connection’

“It was like an instant bond—his little head poked around the corner and it was like an instant connection. You could feel it,” the dog’s handler told ABC.

Hansel’s mother was one over 30 pit bulls rescued; some had to be put down for fear they could never live a normal life and would be a danger in any home setting, but Hansel, his mom and sister were among the 21 saved.

Nonprofit Throw Away Dogs (TAD) was able to save the pack and worked with them until they were ready to enter careers in K-9 roles across the country.

Hansel was trained for 12 months with TAD, then went through the police K-9 academy, focusing specifically on arson detection, The Epoch Times reports.

According to Carol Skaziak of TAD, Hansel has been taught to detect 14 odors, including gas and flammable liquids linked to arson that will help in criminal investigations.

Now he’s a completely different, and more importantly, happier dog.

“Whenever I ask him, ‘Are you ready to go to work?’ and bring out the harness, he starts doing laps around the crate,” Van Leer told CNN.

“Everyone here at the firehouse loves him. He is just an awesome dog,” he added.

Tyler Van Leer of the Millville Fire Department and 4 y.o. Hansel. Hansel will be the first pit bull in the United…

Posted by BuuzTn News on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

I’m so happy for Hansel, to experience the horror of what he has had to endure and come out of it a hero is so commendable.

Please share if you too think dogs are amazing.