Dog breeders have been getting a lot of bad publicity thanks to the evening news recently. In most cases, their bad reputations are well-earned. Puppy mills put their female dogs through unspeakable cruelty and horrific living conditions, all for the almighty dollar. Tammy Bybee is a dog breeder in North Carolina who adores each and every one of her pups. But, Tammy isn’t like most dog breeders.
Tammy has been a police officer for just about all of her adult life. She also breeds bloodhounds from her property. A few years ago, one of the litters had a total of 15 pups which was a little too much for Tammy to handle. She thought about it and decided she wanted to donate one of the puppies named Buckshot to a local law enforcement officer who had recently lost his own K-9 partner.
On the day of his former partner’s service, Master Trainer Tom Hendrickson was presented with the puppy. He says it was a match made in heaven and Tammy wasn’t surprised one bit. She believes bloodhounds are great for K-9 units because of their incredible sense of smell which can track a specific scent for miles. Tammy added, “They’re big stinky, slobbery, loving dogs. What they can do is phenomenal though.”
Soon after Hendrickson received Buckshot, Tammy’s phone began to ring off the hook with inquiries from other police departments. They were all interested in purchasing one of her bloodhound pups. Understanding how expensive police dogs can be, Tammy figured their budgets could use a break and started donating puppies instead.
“I was so busy making sure that everyone got their puppy that I cried afterward… but I don’t cry anymore,” Tammy explained. “The handlers keep in touch with me. I get pictures of them and their success. It’s a beautiful thing.” So how many pictures has Tammy received over the years?
There’s Buckshot’s sister Lucy Jo in Michigan, Roxi in South Carolina, Copper in Maryland, and Lucy in down the road from Tammy in Rockingham County. That’s just a small percentage; Tammy estimates she’s donated 120 pups to police departments across the country.
Has it cost Tammy money? Absolutely. But she doesn’t even think about that. “In the end, it isn’t about the money. It’s about what you can give back,” Tammy explained. “It comes from the heart.”
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