ST. CLOUD -- A St. Cloud dog is one of seven finalists from across the country hoping to be top dog in the 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards.

Adak is a 13-year-old German Shepherd who specialized in explosive detection for the military. Dan Hughes has been Adak's handler for over 10 years and says Adak has worked in more than 10 states and three countries in his career.

"He started work in Iraq working with the US embassy, then transferred to Afghanistan. Completed his work overseas, came to the US and started work with a private company which allowed him to be a contract dog for the army."

Adak performed a sweep of the Baghdad Central Station prior to the arrival of a dignitary, altering authorities to a vehicle in the area. He also swept the Kabul Serena Hotel which was subjected to a complex terror attack.

He will represent the Military Dog category for the awards, which will take place on September 16th in Los Angeles. Hughes says Adak is unique to the category.

"He wasn't an official military working dog, his support to the military was through contract. So it's a little different typical military working dog assigned to a branch of service and a particular unit."

Each finalist receives $2,500 for their charity partner, with the top dog winning an additional $5,000. Hughes says their charity is Paw and Strips which partners dogs with veterans that have PTSD.

The award show will be broadcast live as a two-hour special on the Hallmark Channel.

Unfortunately, Hughes says Adak will not be in attendance for the awards as he past away on June 29th. However you can still vote for Adak once per day through August 30th.

The 2017 American Humane Hero Dog Awards are sponsored by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation.

Get the '98.1 Insider' Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest Minnesota & music news in your inbox a couple times a week. If we're not awesome, drop us like a hot potato.