Bradley County Sheriff’s Office ‘saddened’ by death of canine deputy

BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – “Lucy” was known for her speed, and was even nicknamed “Pocket Rocket”.

“She’s also earned national recognition by a national organization as being a ‘top dog’ during their annual convention,”  Bob Gault with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office said.

The agency’s canine deputy was found dead in southern McMinn County Monday.

She was beside railroad tracks, and believed to be hit by a train.

Lucy was reported missing Sunday.

She was staying with a family member of her handler Deputy Chris Shope on Cass Street in Charleston.

“A tremendous loss not only for the handler, but the sheriff’s office,” Gault said.

The relationship between a K-9, like Lucy, and their handler is a special one.

They train together.

The K-9 lives with the officer, and becomes a part of their family.

“They’re a team, you know, they have different instincts.  K-9 has different instincts as a handler.  There can be many, many instances where a K-9 can save an officer’s life,” Gault said.

The agency has a total of 8 K-9s, that included Lucy.

Gault said he hasn’t spoken with her handler, but said it must be a difficult time.

“I’m sure that he has grown quite fond of the K-9, and it’s going to be devastating for not only him, but also his family that are a part of this unit,” Gault said.

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson made the following statement on Lucy’s passing:

“Our agency is saddened by the tragic death of K-9 Deputy Lucy.  She was a great asset to the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, and served this agency well beside her assigned K-9 handler. Our female canine deputy will be buried with full honors, and Faithful Friends has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements.  I petition the community to pray for Lucy’s K-9 handler, Deputy Chris Shope, during this time who treasured Lucy tremendously.”

Lucy joined the agency in October 2016.

Categories: Bradley County, Local News

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