Gabe the Hero Dog dies in owners arms with favorite toys, medals

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shuck says Gabe had cancer that had spread to his liver.

FORT JACKSON, SC (WACH) - A Midlands dog, named a national hero, has died.

Gabe, a former combat dog, was named the American Humane Associations 2012 Hero Dog.

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shuck says Gabe had cancer that had spread to his liver. Due to health complications, Shuck made the difficult decision to have Gabe euthanized just before 1 p.m.

Shuck noticed Tuesday that Gabe didn't eat his breakfast. Hours later, Gabe was admitted to an animal emergency hospital where he received multiple blood and plasma transfusions.

The following statement was posted to the Vote Gabe 2012 Hero Dog Facebook Page:

"Gabe was admitted to the animal emergency hospital tonight. He was having a hard time breathing on his own and he went into shock as we arrived at the hospital. He also has internal bleeding and may need surgery tomorrow. My heart is broke right now. The doctor said that if he goes into cardiac arrest tonight that it would be best to let him go and I agreed. I want to be selfish for myself, but I cannot because I love him so much."

Shuck says he held Gabe in his final moments and also posted to the Facebook page that the hero dog had his favorite toys, his tennis balls, his medals and junk food as he passed.

Gabe was known for sniffing out bombs, and saving lives while he was deployed in Iraq. When Gabe won the 2012 Hero Dog award, he earned $5,000 for the United States War Dogs Association.