MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Department’s first Bloodhound is now retired.

“So many people have the mindset they are just a dog,” MPD Sgt. Shannon Bowen said. “And they are not. They are our partners. I wish people would understand that.”

Bowen said K9 Anthony was an invaluable member of the department.

K9 Anthony

Anthony joined MPD in 2014. As the first Bloodhound on the force, he given a different assignment than the other K9s.

His job was to track a scent. His breed can track a scent that’s days old for dozens of miles.
MPD used Anthony for search and rescues and missing persons cases.

“It doesn’t exactly work like it does in the movies. There’s all kinds of odors out there,” Bowen said. “They’re trained to associate the order and the smell from the scent article to try to find the person.”

That’s what he did at Nesbit Park on October 22, 2021. Bartlett Police called MPD to help them find a woman possibly lost in dense woods and underbrush. That night, Anthony pulled his handler down a long path, over a bridge and almost a mile into the woods.

He found the woman, who had fallen twenty feet down a ravine.

“They had to administer Narcan to save her life, and luckily, he found her in the time he did. He received a life saving award for that,” Bowen said.

MPD recognized Anthony, and he also received an honor at the state capitol for his excellence and dedication to his community.

“Especially once the word got out that he was a tool that we had on our police department, we started getting more and more calls,” Bowen said.

He traveled near and far to help other departments in the Mid-South. When he wasn’t on a call, he at a school teaching and building relationships with kids.

“He would let them lay on the ground and scratch his belly. He ate that up,” Bowen said.

Earlier this year, Anthony started showing signs retirement was near.

“He was getting to where it was kind of hard for him to get in and out of the car. When we see those signs, we know it’s time,” Bowen said. “It’s sad. It is sad, because you’ve done so much with them.”

Last month, Anthony retired from MPD.

“When the administration found out he was retiring, the first thing the administration said is we are getting another one. Yes, he’s left a mark,” Bowen said.

Anthony is now living the good life at home with his officer and family lounging and getting good rest. All the while, the department is getting ready to add another hound to the force.

“I’m assuming whoever is here years after I leave, we are going to have other blood hounds down the road,” Bowen said.