WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — A pit bull service dog out of Haywood County is a top seven finalist to be named American Hero Dog.
It's all part of the American Humane Hero Dog Awards, which is an annual campaign that aims to recognize heroes on both ends of the leash.
TODAY IS THE DAY: It’s time to meet the class of 2018 American Humane Hero Dog Awards finalists! Congratulations to the paw-some Hero Dog Awards finalists who will get to fly to Hollywood for the star-studded gala, broadcast nationwide on @hallmarkchannel this fall! And a big shout out to the semifinalists for your hard work during the competition, as all of you are heroes in our book. Vote for your favorite Hero Dog Awards finalist daily until 9/5. Only one courageous canine will win the 2018 American Hero Dog title! www.herodogawards.org
A crew with the Hallmark Channel recently visited Roxy and Tucker to shoot a tribute video that will air in front of millions during the awards ceremony.
"It's a lot different from being Haywood famous to Hollywood famous. It's a very big honor to be amongst other hero dogs," Tucker said.
The pair has already won $2,500 for Paws and Stripes, a therapy dog organization. If Roxy wins the top award, that will add another $5,000 to the program.
Justin is hoping their story will raise awareness on the effects of PTSD and the benefits a service dog like Roxy can provide.
When Justin feels an attack coming, Roxy will calm him down by placing a paw on his hands, licking him, or putting her weight on his body. This forces Justin to focus on the here and now.
With Roxy's Tiffany blue nails (which Justin paints), the two are also trying to erase the stigma around pit bull breeds.
"Bully breeds are not bad dogs, and they do make good service dogs," Tucker said.
Voting for the American Hero Dog is open until Sept. 5, with the American Hero Dog announced live at the gala on Sept. 29.
If you'd like to vote for Roxy, click here.