On 12/19/17, newly retired Canine Officer Bella and her partner and handler, Officer James Richards, were honored at a Chatham Village Board meeting. Bella was retired after seven years of canine service to the Chatham Police Department.
In addition, the staff at Grace Veterinary Clinic, including Dr. Gary Minder, were recognized. Dr. Minder and his staff have taken care of Bella for the last seven years, completely free of charge to the Village, with costs during that time put at $9,000.
Chief Vernon Foli recognized their efforts, as well as Meijer store manager Craig Knapp, who has donated food for Bella the last seven years.
“Bella has been involved in numerous searches and seizures and has been a great asset for our department over the years”, Foli said. “We’re sad to see her go.”
Officer Richards and Bella were also a fixture at local schools through various public relations and teaching programs. Bella will remain with Officer Richards as a pet during her retirement.