View Products |  Sign In

MTSU’s Police Dog

October 7, 2020

For MTSU Police K9 handler and patrol specialist Zachery Brooker, the loyalty he receives from his K9 Bobby “can’t be compared.”

This month marks the anniversary of the dog’s first year of service for the campus police department. Bobby and Brooker have been “very fortunate to have a really good first year” and the other officers “love having Bobby here,” Brooker said.

Bobby is a 2-year-old German shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix.

Brooker, originally from Michigan, joined the MTSU department in May 2017. He had been a member of the military and graduated from the Walters State Police Academy before meeting Bobby, but K9 training was “seriously the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

In addition to the dog’s capabilities of tracking others and alerting to the presence of illicit substances, the K9 adds an important safety aspect to the community: suspects are more compliant because of Bobby’s presence, and he can “defend and protect both officers and civilians,” Brooker said.

He encourages the other officers to get to know their furry coworker. They’re always welcome to play and spend time with Bobby because the stronger the relationships are between Bobby and his human team, the more successful they’ll all be in the field, he said.

The dog feeds off of everyone’s energy. “It’s what he lives for,” said Brooker, “that ‘good boy,’ that praise, and his toys, of course.”

One winter night, Bobby’s keen sense of smell and training helped to safely reunite a child, wandering out in the cold, with his mother. Most recently, he tracked down and apprehended a suspect.

Bobby also has helped the Murfreesboro Police Department and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

Brooker’s job doesn’t stop when he clocks out. Bobby comes home with him. The dog’s lifestyle is like that of an athlete’s: healthy treats like carrots and apples, hydration, rest and recovery and plenty of training and exercise. Brooker starts each morning by taking Bobby out for a 30-minute game of fetch.

Being the department’s sole K9 handler also means long hours at work.

“There are days when it’s tough, you’re tired,” said Brooker. “There’s been more times than not with him where because of his capabilities, he’s had to stay late. It’s always worth it to see the officers’ reactions to him doing his job well.”

Bobby has been out to several campus events where people “love on him,” and all of his interactions have been positive, Brooker said.

“We work really hard together, and we do it for the campus community,” said Brooker. “I can’t express enough that it’s for them. This department really cares about the community it serves.”

Register Your Dog

  • Recent News

    Service Dog Walkathon

    October 9, 2020

    On Saturday, October 3, hundreds of walkers from across 15 states joined the path to bettering the world for children with autism and their families as part of BluePath Service Dogs’ fourth annual walkathon. The family-friendly fundraiser – this year held virtually – raised more than $120,000 to further BluePath’s mission of providing autism service […]

    Read more

    Police Welcome New Canine

    October 9, 2020

    After the unexpected passing of longtime Police Service Dog Zeus earlier this week, Kingston Police are welcoming a new member to the Canine Unit. Police Service Dog Bask, also known as K9-8, is a Dutch Shepherd and Belgium Malinois mix, and will be patrolling the streets of Kingston with his handler Constable Jeff Dickson. Bask […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Helps Firefighters

    October 9, 2020

    Firefighters battling the Archie Creek and Thielsen fires have had some long, exhausting days. But for some, their troubles seemed to melt away once they got back to camp. Why? Meet Ralph Colombo. He hauls oversize loads. And joining Ralph is his service dog, Cowboy – the morale boosting, firefighting puppy. “He just keeps my […]

    Read more

    A Service Dogs Place

    October 9, 2020

    A new Pineville nonprofit that helps people with disabilities obtain service dogs has made its first match. The Saber Life Foundation was started in March by Danea Key and her husband Joel. They provide people with trained service dogs, paying 51 percent of the cost, with the client paying the other 49 percent. Service dogs […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Month Ending

    October 8, 2020

    September was designated as National Service Dog Month, and one Berks County native is working hard to ensure that the public is informed about what that means. Susan Focht owns and operates Dogs In Service Project, a nonprofit that teaches individuals about the different types of Assistance Dogs, laws surrounding Assistance Dog ownership, and provides […]

    Read more

    Service Dog Organization

    October 8, 2020

    In 1962 when Marybeth Hearn was 10 years old, she convinced her parents to let her volunteer to raise a puppy for the California-based nonprofit Guide Dogs for the Blind. She wasn’t sure what to expect when they brought home a black Labrador Retriever named Lepta, but she knew one thing for certain. “I do […]

    Read more

    Military Working Dogs

    October 8, 2020

    The Army is developing high-tech augmented reality goggles for dogs that eventually could allow handlers to give them directions from afar, the service said. Military working dogs are directed via hand signals, speaking or laser pointers, which require the handler to remain close by. That can potentially endanger soldiers on missions that involve finding explosives […]

    Read more

    Bella And Her Service Dog

    October 7, 2020

    Gisele James has seen the difference. The superintendent of Par Excellence Academy watched a service dog in the Newark community school help change the life of one of her students, and positively affect other kids in the building. Now, that student, in turn, wants to make service dogs available to other students with social and […]

    Read more