MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An administrative assistant at Rhodes College doesn’t stop working hard when she clocks out at the end of the day. When she’s not working, Angela Fletcher is saving lives with a special sidekick.
In her free time, Fletcher volunteers with her dog, Maddy, as a search and rescue team for multiple counties across the Mid-South.
"This is my passion. I have a heart for people and to serve people. And being able to do that with a dog is just ice cream on the cake," Fletcher said.
She rescued Maddy seven years ago, and said the bloodhound was in poor condition.
"When I found Maddy on the Internet, she was the last dog anyone would choose. Her hair was thin, she was emaciated, and she was in kidney failure," Fletcher explained.
Fletcher also discovered a bullet in Maddy's leg that, to this day, gives her a limp when she walks.
When she learned Maddy was also starved as a puppy, Fletcher had an idea.
"That drive and motivation for food is what maintained her drive in locating lost and missing people," she said. "We began with short tracks and the person being in sight and eventually we got to longer tracks, the person being out of sight."
Now, rescues are second nature to this canine.
"I deploy her by getting her out of her crate, and I harness her up, and present her with a scent article of the person that is missing and command her to search for the person," Fletcher said. "She does her thing and I just hold on."
Fletcher and Maddy have been recognized for their many successes. They have been featured in the news and have won countless awards, but not all of their missions have had happy endings.
"It's tough to talk about the rescues for me, because I think about the ones where we were not successful," Fletcher recalled sadly.
Through it all, this life-saving pair is inseparable with a bond unlike any other.
"I look at Maddy and think, 'How am I ever going to live without her?' She's my right hand. She's come from the bottom and she's triumphed. She is a rescue dog rescuing people. She is a hero," Fletcher said.
Fletcher is humble about being considered a "Mid-South Hero," but there is no denying that this dynamic duo earned the title.