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NH Conservation K9 Sig Up for 'Top Dog' Award - Vote Today

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation K9 “Sig” and his partner Conservation Officer Mark Hensel have been selected from among numerous nominations as one of six New England Conservation K9s for the Red Sox K9 Hero Award. On July 27, 2015, each of the finalists, along with their K9 partners, will be recognized in Fenway Park at the Red Sox game. One dog will be awarded as the "Top Dog". The public has a chance to participate by voting for their favorite conservation canine at Visit and vote today and help Sig become “Top Dog.”

Sig’s selection to be among the top six New England Conservation Canines is quite an honor, according to his handler and Law Enforcement partner CO Mark Hensel. “We are very proud and honored to be considered for this award and are certainly looking forward to participating in the event at Fenway,” said Hensel.

The N.H. Fish and Game Department currently has three canines that assist Officers with human tracking, evidence detection, locating hidden fish & wildlife, and assisting with numerous search and rescue operations throughout New Hampshire. K9 Sig is a 5-year old black labrador retriever. Officer Hensel and K9 Sig regularly patrol the Lakes Region and White Mountains of New Hampshire and are assigned to the Advanced Search and Rescue Team. In 2014 alone, they responded to 26 search and rescue missions and participated in dozens of Law Enforcement-related cases.

During one search and rescue, Officer Hensel and K9 Sig were called to assist with searching for a missing juvenile in Rumney. A young boy had been enjoying a nature walk with his grandfather around Cranberry Bog in Rumney. During their hike, the boy ran ahead and became separated from his grandfather and sibling and subsequently lost in the woods. This young boy wandered around in the woods for several hours, and when he could not be located, a large-scale response was launched to find him just as darkness fell. Several canines were called in and participated in the search, as well as other Conservation Officers and local law enforcement and volunteer searchers. The area had already been heavily searched by numerous other searchers, but none had been successful in locating the boy. K9 Sig was able to acquire a track in the area where the boy was last seen by his grandfather. The determined conservation canine and Officer Hensel followed the track of the young boy through a heavily contaminated wooded area and swamps for almost a mile, which led them to a roadway. Sig continued to follow the track down the roadway and into a driveway, leading to a residence where the child was eventually located hiding inside. The boy was safely reunited with his family after several emotional and stressful hours being lost in the forest and swamps in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

In another incident, K9 Sig and Officer Hensel were called to assist NH State Police with searching for a possible handgun that may have been hidden during a domestic violence incident in the town of Tamworth, NH. NH State Police had responded several days prior to a report of domestic violence; a male subject was arrested on several charges, including domestic violence, possession of illegal drugs and stolen property. State Police also determined that he was a convicted felon and believed that he was illegally in possession of firearm. After securing a search warrant, State Police searched the residence, where they located corroborating evidence that he was in possession of a firearm, but the firearm could not be located. State Police believed the handgun likely had been hidden outside, somewhere in the residential neighborhood surrounding the apartment complex, prior to their arrival. They called in Officer Hensel and K9 Sig, who is well known for his abilities in detecting hidden evidence, to assist in the search. K9 Sig quickly located the handgun, which had been hidden in the woods under leaves before the State Police arrived. Some 36 hours had elapsed since the State Police first got there for the call. It took K9 Sig less than 5 minutes to locate the stolen handgun.

These situations are just a few examples of the diligent work performed by Sig and other Conservation Canines on a daily basis. Thank you for taking time to vote to recognize K9 Sig as a heroic canine. Show your support for Sig today at


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