Therapy Dog named American Humane Hero Dog

Maverick, a therapy dog who reads with students at Thayer Elementary, has been named the 2023 American Humane Hero Dog. Earlier this fall a national production company filmed Maverick and his owner Kelly Brownfield of the Fort Leonard Wood USO at Thayer Elementary, along with students and Superintendent Hilary Bales. The 13th annual Hero Dog Awards gala is scheduled to air on the FYI Network at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving, November 23rd, and A&E at noon on November 26th and will include footage from the Waynesville R-VI School District.

When service members die, Maverick escorts their children to their funerals, and he also visits with service members after unexpected deaths in their units. Each week, he spends time with students at Thayer Elementary, Waynesville Middle School and Waynesville High School.

According to Bales, “The real hero is his owner Kelly who volunteers to brings Maverick to those who need his comfort most.”
Maverick is a European Blue Great Dane who weighs about 150 pounds. He was nominated for the 2023 American Humane Hero Dog Award in the therapy dog category.