(CHATTANOOGA, TN) (May 21, 2021) – McKamey Animal Center is excited to have helped Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office recruit a brand new team member – Therapy K-9 Officer, Bonnie.
Only a few weeks ago, Bonnie, was roaming the streets of Chattanooga. A McKamey Animal Center Animal Services Officer picked her up and brought her back to the Center. After her stray hold passed, she was placed into a foster home with Damon McCook, founder of Good Citizen K-9.
McCook quickly recognized the potential Bonnie had to become a therapy dog. Through partnership with Catoosa County Sherriff’s Office, Good Citizen K-9, and McKamey Animal Center, Bonnie has officially been announced as the newest addition of the Catoosa County Sherriff’s Office.
“We looked at ways to make our employees' lives less stressful because of the things we deal with. As [stress] builds up throughout the day, we really asked ourselves what are we doing to help them to be the best officers they can be,” said Sheriff Gary Sisk. “Our staff fell in love with her right away. You could see the stress fall off of people, just by interacting with her.”
Bonnie will be living at the Sherriff’s office full-time and will primarily be serving as a therapy K-9, assisting officers to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and offer emotional support to those on staff. Additionally, Bonnie will have the opportunity to work alongside children as a canine advocate after they’ve experienced crime and help at educational events.
“What dogs do extremely well, is they read body language. Dogs don’t speak human words, they listen to the tone of your voice, the way we move our arms, and understand our facial expressions,” said McCook. “Bonnie is extremely well-behaved for a one-year-old and tolerates things well. We believe she will be the perfect addition to the Sherriff’s Office.”
Sherriff Sisk shared “Employees have bought dog beds for each of their offices and have already established who will take care of her and when. We are very excited to have her as part of our team – our team continues to joke that maybe in the future we can add a Clyde as well.”
McKamey Animal Center (MAC) highly values the partnership established between K-9 Good Citizen, and Catoosa County Sherriff’s office. MAC Executive Director, Inga Fricke, said “Bonnie is a perfect example not only of how wonderful and sweet most of the pets that come through our doors are, but that we are open to exploring any opportunity to find them a placement that will bring them all the care and happiness they deserve, even if that’s not a traditional home setting. We are thrilled that one of our dogs is going to be giving back to the community in such a positive way.”
Since 2008, MAC has been serving the people and pets of Chattanooga and beyond. Visit www.mckameyanimalcenter.org to learn more about the services we offer and to adopt your own amazing shelter pet.