NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Everybody loves a hero and now you can help a local one get national recognition.

K-9 Cody from Newport News is a contender for the American Human Hero Dog Awards.

Cody began her career at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. Most recently she was called in to sniff out a bomb threat at a local Black Lives Matter rally.

This dog has saved countless lives and now her handler, James Overton, says it is time she gets the recognition she deserves.

“She’s saved countless lives overseas, she’s saved lives here just safeguarding places as well and they do it because they love it not because they’re getting paid,” he told

A contest win would pay off though, for Cody and others. She would become a poster child for organizations that help other working dogs. She’s also bringing attention to American K-9 Interdiction where James works.

“The biggest things we’re doing right now is working with veterans, training them to be K-9 handlers. They can use their GI Bill and come back and go through our school and kind of find themselves a new purpose when they get out of the military,” he explained.

While Cody is impressive, the competition is rough. Her biggest rival, James says, is probably a dog named “Dolly Pawton.. P-A-W-T-O-N, not Parton,” he specified.

If she beats Dolly and the others, Cody will be named top dog in law enforcement and go on to compete for overall Hero dog of the year!

Voting is now open and you can vote once a day, now through Thursday, July 16.

There was supposed to be a red carpet gala in Beverly Hills, but COVID canceled that. If she wins, however, a film crew will shoot Cody’s story for the Hallmark channel.

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