(CELEBRITY/HERO DOGS) Move over Lassie, there’s a new four-legged star in town! The NBC drama “Chicago Fire” announced the finalists for their “Chicago Fire” Top Dog Competition. Show stars Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer announced on the Today Show their top three picks in their search for the perfect firehouse pooch. Pups Dempsey, Smokey, and Wilshire made their television debut today alongside their firehouse companions. The trio were chosen from more than one-hundred firehouse dogs nationwide, and now it’s our turn to decide. Visit Today.com to cast your vote for who you think should fetch top-dog honors. The winner, announced October 1, gets to test their acting pork chops with a walk-on role on “Chicago Fire.” But as far as we’re concerned, they’re all winners! Read on for these heroic dogs’ amazing stories and check out “Chicago Fire,” premiering tonight on NBC. — Global Animal
NBC show "Chicago Fire" announces the three finalists in their nation-wide search for the Top Dog/Photo credit: onpremiereline.com
NBC’s show “Chicago Fire” has announced the three finalists in their nationwide search for the perfect firehouse pooch. Photo credit: onpremiereline.com

Zap2it.com, Amanda Kondolojy

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Sept. 24, 2013 — Three finalists have been chosen in NBC’s “‘Chicago Fire’ Top Dog” contest, the search for the perfect firehouse pooch.

The “Top Dogs” were announced this morning by “Chicago Fire” stars Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” alongside firefighters from the dogs’ respective fire stations.

Dempsey is a mastiff-boxer mix from Indianapolis who was intentionally burned in a fire two years ago./Phote credit: NBC via Eileen Orban
Dempsey is a mastiff-boxer mix from Indianapolis who was intentionally burned in a fire two years ago. Photo credit: NBC via Eileen Orban

Finalists Dempsey, Smokey and Wilshire were chosen from more than 100 firehouse dogs nationwide that entered the contest, thus fetching the guest spot on “Today” Sept. 24. The pooches appeared on the morning show with their firehouse companions, Eileen Orban, Todd Warrick and Ryan Penrod, respectively.

Smokey is a Labrador retriever from Jacksonville, IL. She became a fire dog after being found near death in a home engulfed in flames./Photo credit: NBC via Todd Warrick
Smokey is a Labrador retriever from Jacksonville, IL. She became a fire dog after being found near death in a home engulfed in flames. Photo credit: NBC via Todd Warrick

The public can now select the No. 1 “‘Chicago Fire’ Top Dog” by going to Today.com/TopDog and casting a vote for one of the three contestants. The winner will be announced Oct. 1 and will be named “‘Chicago Fire’ Top Dog,” earning a cameo role on the popular primetime drama series about the Windy City heroes.

From Station 111 in Indianapolis is Dempsey, a 2½-year-old Boxer/Mastiff mix who was intentionally set on fire by a juvenile in 2011.

The fire burned all four paws, legs, his underbelly and part of his tail. In seeing his story on the news, Dempsey was adopted by a public educator thinking his battle scars could be used to show kids and adults the damage fire can do if played with or used inappropriately. He has gone through nine surgeries to improve his mobility and ease his pain.

At Station 2 in Jacksonville, Fla., Smokey — a Labrador Retriever mix — was inside a home that was engulfed in flames. Eventually, her lifeless body was brought out and, with the aid of a veterinarian, was kept on oxygen 24/7 for three days, hand fed and nurtured to what a six-week old healthy puppy should be. Now she is a training tool for the community as the firefighters have taught her to stop, drop and roll.

Wilshire, a Dalmatian from Los Angeles, was a rescue adopted by the LA fire house after a family couldn't keep him./Photo credit: NBC via Ryan Penrod
Wilshire, a Dalmatian from Los Angeles, is a rescue adopted by the LA fire house after a family couldn’t keep him. Photo credit: NBC via Ryan Penrod

A Dalmatian named after the iconic Los Angeles street where his firehouse is based, Wilshire became part of the Station 10 family when his original family could no longer keep him. Wilshire can stop, drop and roll, as well as crawl and dial 911.

He performs fire and life safety demonstrations for kids and families. Not only does he engage in other safety behaviors as well, Wilshire also teaches kids about the importance of healthy eating and exercise by lifting a 100 lb. dumbbell and running on a treadmill.

The second season of “Chicago Fire” drama begins Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). The drama series, which garnered growing ratings success and acclaim as its freshman season progressed, is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films and stars Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Eamonn Walker, Monica Raymund, Lauren German, Charlie Barnett, David Eigenberg, Yuri Sardarov, Joe Minoso and Christian Stolte. The executive producers are Dick Wolf, Matt Olmstead, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Danielle Gelber, Joe Chappelle and Peter Jankowski.

More Zap2it.com: http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2013/09/24/canine-finalists-chosen-for-chicago-fire-top-dog-competition/204499/

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