Rescue dog brings comfort to Cherokee County's 911 dispatchers

The Cherokee County 911 Center has a new employee who's getting to be pretty popular around the office.

Her name is Ruby, and she's knows all the ins and outs of the center, because she calls it home.

"Basically, she's got 40 to 50 mothers and fathers in there," said Cherokee County 911 Director Shane Bonebreak.

When Bonebreak took the job about a year ago, he asked employees how he could improve their work environment. One request kept sticking out.

"One of the big things was animal visits. A lot of them said they would like to have a dog," he said. "Because they're here 24 hours a day. They're answering over 450,000 calls and a lot of them are very serious calls."

One day a local animal shelter brought Ruby in, and she was a perfect match.

"With violent calls, if she heard voice inflection, she would get out of her bed and walk over to the dispatcher," Bonebreak said. "And to just kind of sit there and watch the dispatchers turn around and just pet them, it was hook, link, and sinker for me. There was no doubt."

Ruby was a stray. She was heartworm-positive and in the shelter for more than 100 days. Now, it's safe to say she's got everyone at Cherokee County 911 wrapped around her paw.

'Every morning when I walk in, I know her routine. She's going to come see me, she's going to come into my office and lay in her bed. I'm going to cover her up, we're going to just have the lamps on, I'm going to do some emails, and we'll listen to Adele," Bonebreak said.

Cherokee County 911 supervisors Jenna Stone and Heather Bradberry say Ruby has made a huge difference for the dispatchers.

"It just lightens the mood. It takes away from that situation and that moment, or they can walk outside with her, it just definitely changes the atmosphere from it being the same old routine every day or the bad calls. It's definitely helped," Stone said.

"It's nice because she knows our routine, and she gets up to see everybody at shift change," Bradberry said. "She makes it a happier morning."

They say every 911 center should have a Ruby

"I think it's done a lot for us as a whole, us as a center, and I think it would do a lot for other agencies," Stone said.

It's a gift for the people on the front line of almost every emergency in the county and a gift for the dog, whose job now is showing some love.