Cass Co. K-9 Nellie the Bloodhound retires

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:50 PM EST
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CASS COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - A police officer with her own fan page, K-9 Nellie the Bloodhound has retired after more than nine years of service to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

The 10 year old was treated to a party complete with a peanut butter cake and a lot of cuddles on Wednesday. Sheriff Richard Behnke honored Nellie and her handler, Deputy Tiffany Graves, for their life-saving efforts across Michiana that include 475 calls for service along with 83 assists and finds.

Nellie has been with Graves since she was two months old.

“She still has so much drive. She doesn’t want to give up. Her body is starting to give up a little bit,” remarked Graves. “Losing her as a trailing certified canine is the tough part because she’s my go-to girl. She’s the one I get out first because I know she’s tried and true. She’s steady.”

Aside from trying to find the lost and missing, Graves and Nellie have done almost 800 public relations events, including being “adopted” by schoolchildren, as they were in 2017 by Lybrook Elementary in Eau Claire.

“Kids come running to the dog, and they want to see the dog, and just as you saw today, you know, we all can relate to the dog. And then that gives us the opportunity to relate with the kids and creates a great positive atmosphere,” said Sheriff Richard Behnke.

Graves said Nellie has helped to bridge a gap between police and the community, particularly children.

“They need to know that not only do we do good things and help people, yes, there are bad police officers out there - there’s bad people everywhere,” said Graves. “But [kids] can grow up and help people, too. And that’s what Nellie has helped me do was show unity and bring everybody together.”

She expressed gratitude for the widespread support she and Nellie received, ranging from dog trainers to the public and her fellow officers as well as loved ones.

“Nellie’s become a rock star because of you guys. And I just want to say thank you,” Graves added.

Nellie will continue to live with Graves who is also the handler for K-9 Britton, a bloodhound.

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