CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WATE) — “Joker,” The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office K-9 that was shot in the line of duty in September, is back on the job after weeks of recovery.
The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office announced the K-9’s return on Tuesday. Joker is approved to resume his tracking skills and other work with minor restrictions “due to the wonderful progression he has shown over the last several weeks.” His feeding tube was also removed and his jaw is now stabilized.
The K-9 had been shot on the morning of Sept. 22 when Bradley County deputies responded to an auto burglary at a Cleveland apartment complex around 2 a.m. K-9 Joker had been deployed when the suspects fled on foot into the woods around Toyota of Cleveland near Exit 20.
Six juveniles from Chattanooga were arrested and charged in connection to the incident. Charges from the Cleveland Police Department against the 6 juveniles are 15 counts of auto burglary, conspiracy to commit auto burglary, and felony evading arrest. Charges from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office are theft over $10,000, conspiracy to commit theft over $10,000, and attempted intentional killing of an animal.
K-9 Joker had been released from the animal hospital back in late September and had been recovering amid ongoing medical appointments and is still on a soft-foods diet.
“We are thrilled to share that K-9 Joker is able to return to work with his partner, BCSO Deputy Eduardo Choate,” a news release from the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office states. “K9 Joker has shown great interest in continuing to use his skills as a Narcotics and Tracking K9 and we wish him more years of success for as long as he is comfortably able to do so.”