The Floyd County Sheriff’s Office lost one of its beloved deputies. K-9 Deputy Champ died Thursday. Deputy Champ had been medically retired since October 2011. He was gifted to the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office by former Pepperell Middle School teacher Marilynn Etheridge (now deceased). Mrs. Etheridge donated Champ in honor of her husband after his passing from cancer in 2005.
Champ, who had been the Etheridge’s family pet, was initially trained at the Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Officer’s Training Center, Inc. Over the course of his career Deputy Champ received several certifications: Alacanine, National Narcotic Detector Dog Association, Law Enforcement Training System, and North American Police Working Dog Association. Champ’s service numbers are incredible. He had over 13,000 community contacts in his first year of and a career average of more than 200 demonstrations annually.
K-9 Deputy Champ’s Handler, Deputy Jimmy Allred, recalls fond memories of his partner:
“Champ and I spent an entire month together in a tiny apartment away from our family for training when he first started. The night after he was certified he made his first arrest. Champ found dope during a vehicle search. I remember calling my wife and telling her how proud I was of Champ. He was such an absolutely awesome dog.”
Deputy Champ was well known in the community and greatly loved by all he came in contact with. The sheriff’s office would like to thank Dr. Dan Pate, West Rome Animal Clinic and Lavender Mountain Hardware for supporting Deputy Champ during his retirement. Champ will be deeply missed. The Floyd County Sheriff’s Office has honored the service of the K-9 Deputy by retiring his call number. Please keep our K-9 Handler and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.