FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – Fort. Leonard Wood’s unofficial mascot, Maverick, has been diagnosed with cancer.

The last time Maverick and his owner Kelly Brownfield spoke with Ozarksfirst.com, Maverick was competing in the American Humane Hero Dog Awards for Therapy Dog of the Year. Brownfield found out he made it to round two and is now a finalist.

“That was amazing. I appreciate everyone’s help but unfortunately, last week, we also found out that Maverick has cancer,” said Brownfield. “His back right hind leg, he has a mast cell tumor, which he is actually at the vet right now having surgery currently to see what they can do for our Maverick.”

Brownfield is in the middle of her third battle with cancer in five years.

“I told him he didn’t need to be like mom… I just hate seeing this happen to essentially one of my children,” said Brownfield. “You know, dogs are my life and I hate seeing him go through this.”

She says she feels like the roles have reversed. She’s been feeding him extra treats and comforting him as much as she can.

Maverick’s friends and fans, many of them military who work with him, have been cheering him on.

“I just appreciate everyone’s well-wishes,” Brownfield said. “We’ve seen so many encouraging words of support. Just, you know, I read each and every one. So we really appreciate everyone not only voting for Maverick, but more importantly, pulling for him to get through this.”

Maverick home after surgery.

Maverick is still in the running for Therapy Dog of the Year. Voting for the second round will end on July 22nd. If you would like to vote for Maverick, click here.