K-9 Bella retires from DuPage County Sheriff's Office after nearly 12 years of service


Last updated 4/25/2020 at 2:56pm

One of the DuPage County Sheriff's Office's longest serving K-9 deputies turned in her badge Friday afternoon for a retirement life of belly rubs and uninterrupted sunbathing in the back yard.

Bella the bloodhound, who has been involved in finding hundreds of missing people and countless suspects over the past 11 and a half years since she joined us from Midwest K-9 Emergency Response Team in Lee, IL, stopped by the office one last time Friday.

"I'd like to thank Deputy Bella for more than 11 years of service to DuPage County residents and surrounding communities. We always knew when we called Bella we'd get a quick resolution," Mendrick said. "I'd also like to thank Ellen Ponall and Midwest K-9 for more than

20 years of providing us with the best dogs and training available."

Bella's handler and human partner, Deputy Laura Richardson, said she expects Bella to miss the work and says she may still bring Bella out on training exercises as she continues to train four-month-old bloodhound Hope, who has big paws to fill as she will replace Bella within a few months.

"She'll miss the work but she's grown to love just laying out in the sun in the backyard all day," Richardson said Friday. "Hope also keeps her busy at home, stealing her ball and keeping her on her toes."

The Sheriff's Office K9 Unit also includes bloodhounds Praise, Tilly and Hope; Belgian Malinois Chili, Nitro, Odin and Merit; a black Lab named Raven and chocolate lab Xena. Comfort Dog Julia, a golden retriever, also recently joined the team.


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