Meet Bonnie, the new therapy K-9 in Catoosa County
RINGGOLD, Georgia (WDEF) – There is a new K-9 on the beat in Catoosa County.
But Bonnie isn’t a street cop.
She is the new therapy dog for the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Her skill is helping both officers and civilians deal with stress and Post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Our deputies and civilian staff are constantly being called on to help solve emotionally charged and at times very difficult human problems, and that can take a toll on our own wellbeing,” said Sheriff Sisk.
“By spending just a few minutes with Bonnie, we can feel the stress and anxiety melt away by simply petting and playing with her.”
Bonnie is a one year old Golden Retriever mix.
She was trained in a partnership between the Sheriff’s Office, Good Citizen K-9 and McKamey Animal Center.
“Bonnie was a stray roaming the streets of Chattanooga that was picked up by one of our officers,” said McKamey Animal Center Advancement Manager Lauren Mann.
“Good Citizen K-9, which fosters animals for us, recognized her potential for being a therapy dog and began working with her and the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office for this great partnership.”
Bonnie can actually sense human stress.
“Dogs like Bonnie understand human body language by looking at things such as our facial expressions, the way we move our arms, and hearing the tone of our voice,” said Good Citizen K-9 founder Damon McCook. “She is great at recognizing human behavior patterns that naturally motivate her to approach with a wagging tail, big wet kisses and an appreciation for petting. And it’s that interaction that benefits our own emotional wellbeing.”
Bonnie is not trained for law enforcement or manhunts, with one exception.
“We will introduce Bonnie to children who are being interviewed here at the office, with the hope that she can ease their anxiety that can come with an investigation,” Sheriff Sisk said. “Bonnie has already become one of our best friends, and her service to us will enhance the service that we provide to our community every day.”