PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Heroes come in many shapes and sizes, and just recently the winners of the 2016 hero awards were announced. The awards honored five Maricopa County "Animal Heroes" and one human hero.
"Not only does he help me with day to day difficulties, but he's also my best friend," said Cory Remsburg.
Army Ranger Cory Remsburg suffered a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan. After three months in a coma and three years of rehab, Cory received one of the most crucial pieces of his recovery; his service dog Leo.
"Leo senses Cory, he's always watching, Leo is sitting by my feet, but he head is pointed at Cory, and always looking to see if he needs anything," said Leanna Remsburg.
Ironically Leo was also at death's door, he was on the euthanasia list in a North Carolina shelter, but Cory's sister found him and knew the dog could help save her brother's life.
"Most people don't understand the real need for a service dog, not only for the everyday tasks that Leo did, but for a lot of the hidden things that are out there, the dogs are so important just being a companion, but they are much much more than that," said Leanna.
Once Leo came to Phoenix, the pair actually saved each other, and now Leo is one of the recipients of this year's hero award.
"He's being awarded because he came off the euthanasia list and now provides unbelievable and valuable service to a veteran right here in our community," she said.
"Totally did not see that coming, but I'm very proud of him," said Cory.
"Friends of Animal Care and Control" host the awards and use the opportunity to end euthanasia of dogs and cats in our community.
"These pets that are coming into shelters are truly like any other animals that are in homes today, they all deserve a second chance, and many of them have the opportunity to go on and do wonderful things," said Leanna.
Four other dogs and a local vet will be honored at the awards which take place on February 27, 2016.
You can learn more at www.saveshelterpets.org