Maverick, a remarkable 150-pound European Blue Great Dane therapy dog, has been named the recipient of the 2023 American Humane Hero Dog Award. The award was presented in recognition of Maverick’s extraordinary ability to provide comfort and solace to people in need.

Nominated in the therapy dog category, Maverick’s “superpower” lies in his remarkable capacity to soothe and uplift individuals, according to his owner, Kelly Brownfield. Maverick has been working alongside the United Service Organizations (USO) to support American troops and their families, fulfilling his life’s purpose.

According to Brownfield, “Maverick’s superpower is his ability to calm people with a touch of his paw, giving them the strength to move forward.” This six-year-old canine winner is stationed at the Fort Leonard Wood post in Missouri, where he offers therapeutic support to service members, accompanies children to military funerals, and helps individuals cope with trauma.

In 2023 alone, Maverick and Brownfield have fulfilled 55 “special mission” requests. Even at home, Maverick continues to provide unwavering support to his owner, who has been battling cancer for the past six years. Maverick himself overcame a leg cancer diagnosis in 2022 through surgical intervention.

American Humane CEO Robin Ganzert emphasized the importance of recognizing four-legged heroes like Maverick, ranging from military working dogs to service dogs that empower their handlers. The Hero Dog Award, decided by both public votes and a judging panel, acknowledges the incredible contributions of these extraordinary animals.

Maverick and the other finalists in various categories, including therapy, service and guide, military, law enforcement and first responder, and shelter dogs, will be celebrated at the 13th annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 10. The event will be hosted by Christie Brinkley and Carson Kressley.


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