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ER, dog adopted by sheriff’s office, dies


It was more than 10 years ago that a stray dog showed up in the emergency room of a hospital in Hamblen County, Tennessee.

The sheriff’s office in Morristown took the lab mix in, named him ER, and in 2002 assigned him the rank of captain.

He never sniffed out drugs, or chased criminals, but ER became a goodwill ambassador, roaming the halls of the county justice center.

“He made his rounds to the courthouse and he made his rounds out through the yard here with inmates accompanying him and lot of people don’t understand about this, but ER was not just a dog. He was the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department mascot,” Sheriff Esco Jarnagin told WBIR.

er1ER wore a deputy’s badge on his collar and, except for service animals, was the only dog allowed inside the building.

Last week, a decade after he wandered into the emergency room of Morristown-Hamblen Hospital, ER passed away.

A crowd came out to pay their respects to ER at his funeral, and he was buried in front of the justice center.

(Photos: Hamblen county Sheriff’s Office)


Comment from reddawg
Time October 14, 2013 at 2:38 pm

ER, RIP…….You have done proud the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department .

Comment from Jen Brighton
Time October 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm

This is a heartwarming story. Thank you Hamblen County Sheriff’s Dept. for giving a stray dog a home and a job.

Comment from vida
Time October 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

After reading the article above this I wonder if this kind of mascot deal would help other police departments see dogs as individuals and not as shooting targets? Maybe just knowing a dog would help bring down the shootings?

Comment from jwoestendiek
Time October 15, 2013 at 6:22 am

Excellent point, Vida — and something so simple it could actually work.
John / ohmidog!