TOP DOG: Community service dog Brinkley tapped as honorary Sterling mayor June 3

Brinkley, Sterling's community service dog since 2017, will be the city's honorary mayor of the day on June 3. Brinkley is retiring June 12.

STERLING — The city of Sterling will honor one of its most well-known residents early next month.

A little over a week before her planned retirement, Brinkley, Sterling Police Department’s current community service dog, will be the city’s honorary mayor of the day on June 3. Brinkley and her handler, Community Service Officer Tekla Martin, are set to retire June 12.

The honor was announced at Monday night’s Sterling City Council meeting, when city leaders publicly thanked Brinkley for her 7 years – 49 dog years – of service.

“She has devoted her life to serving the members of our community,” according to the resolution read by Mayor Diana Merdian. “The city wishes to thank Brinkley for her service.”

Brinkley became Sterling PD’s community service dog on Feb. 27, 2017. Throughout the years since, she has eased the fear of entrapped accident victims; been a comfort to children at April House, Whiteside County’s child advocacy center; and attended various community events.

The Sterling Police Department’s new comfort dog, Mille, was picked up from Harvestime Kennel in Menasha, Wisconsin, on April 19. Community Service Officer Mary Toth is Millie’s handler.

The mayoral proclamation comes on the heels of another special accolade. At the Sterling City Council’s April 15 meeting, Merdian read a National Therapy Animal Day proclamation in honor of Brinkley and Martin. It was the first time a proclamation has been made for that day to recognize Brinkley’s service, Martin said.

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Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema is the editor of Sauk Valley Media.