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Seminole contender a bit light for big title

The scales of justice didn't exactly work in favor of an English mastiff vying for the title of the largest dog in the country.

Justice, a 269-pound mastiff who lives in Seminole, weighed more than titleholder Hercules, an English mastiff from Peabody, Mass.

But 5-year-old Justice, wearing a red, white and blue bandanna around his 38-inch neck, held the title for only a couple of minutes before another English mastiff, Moose, proved to be the heavyweight champion.

"I was a little surprised that Justice was bigger than Hercules, but Hercules has been on a diet," said Justice's owner, Angie Hunt. "But then Moose came out of nowhere."

The spectacle played out on Friday's Live with Regis and Kelly, a morning show in New York that is televised nationwide. The segment was the final installment of Super Dog Week, a series designed to enhance ratings.

With Moose on one side of a makeshift scale dubbed the Dog-O-Meter and Justice on the other, it was obvious that Moose was the heavier of the two animals. Moose, who hails from Vernon, N.J., weighs 285 pounds, said Linda Newton, a spokeswoman for the show.

After all, he's not dieting like his two competitors. In fact, Moose gets a one-year supply of dog food for winning.

And second place is fine with Mrs. Hunt, who along with her husband, Gary, and a crew member had to practically lift the slobbery Justice onto the scale. Not an easy feat.

"I'm proud of him," said Mrs. Hunt, 43. "He's always a good dog."