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      Local hero dog wins national award, rubs paws with Hollywood's finest

      Your votes helped Gabe clinch the 2012 Hero Dog Award.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- A hero dog from the Midlands is rubbing elbows and paws with some of Hollywood??s finest.

      Gabe, a former combat dog, was named the American Humane Association??s 2012 Hero Dog.

      Gabe and his owner Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shuck got the big honor at the Hero Dog Awards Gala in Los Angeles Saturday night. Legendary actress Betty White hosted the gala.

      Gabe made a name for himself while deployed in Iraq, where he worked to sniff out weapons, bombs and other dangerous items. He completed more than 200 combat missions with 26 explosives and weapons finds.

      Earlier in the year, Gabe won the military dog category of the competition. With that win, he earned $5,000 for his charity of choice.

      Now that he??s won the overall award, he gets $10,000 more. Gabe??s charity is the United States War Dogs Association.

      Voting in the contest took place online.