Mena Hanson (left) and Bailey Hughes present Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold with a check for K-9 Ely during an Oct. 17, 2013, assembly at McFadden School of Excellence in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Fourth and fifth graders at McFadden School of Excellence learned about courage in September and demonstrated giving in October by donating money to the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office.
Principal Clark Blair said the students’ value word for September was courage.
During that same time, Blair said students learned K-9 Ely almost died due to heat exhaustion and read a story where Sheriff Robert Arnold said the K-9s needed cooling vests.
“Our fourth and fifth graders decided to take up change to help,” Blair said. “That change amounted to $500 that we are going to present to the K-9 officer and his dog.”
Student Mena Hanson took the project to heart and sold cookies to raise money.
During a school assembly last week, Mena, fellow student Bailey Hughes, and the fourth and fifth grade students presented a check for $510 to Arnold for Ely, the K-9 who suffered heat exhaustion Sept. 8 as the result of a search and apprehension operation.
Teacher Ann Jackson told Arnold the students said they wanted to protect the K-9 dogs.
Arnold, who attended the assembly, thanked the students for their contribution and promised to use the money for brave dogs like Ely and bloodhound Ethel, who also attended the assembly.
K-9 Sgt. Lee Young, who partners with Ely, told students that officers and K-9s were searching for a “bad guy” when Ely got too hot and collapsed. The paramedics treated Ely until Dr. Sara Covert arrived and treated him for several hours.
Ely spent several days at Williams Animal Hospital before he received a transfusion from another dog and recovered.
“With prayers, he got well,” Young said.