WATCH: Sheriff Wayne Ivey Sidekick ‘Junny’ is Brevard County’s Comfort Dog and Ambassador
By Space Coast Daily // April 12, 2023
Bloodhound Junny is Spokesdog, Influencer and Ambassador for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office
Junny is Brevard’s comfort dog and ambassador, a natural anti-stress advocate. He is also the Sheriff Wayne Ivey’s shadow, a constant presence wherever he goes, be it schools, county commissioners’ meetings, parades, speaking engagements or special events. From the moment Junny arrived nine years ago as a ten-week-old pup, Sheriff Ivey knew the hound was special.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – He is tall, dark and handsome, with soulful brown eyes and a luxurious mane of rust-colored hair. He is caring, affectionate and steadfast. He turns heads and lights up eyes whenever he strolls into a room.
Like many males, he can be a little slovenly, but his huge loving heart more than makes for that small fault.
Before you rush out to try and snag a date with this dreamboat, be aware that he is Junny, ambassador bloodhound for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Moreover, his heart already belongs to Sheriff Wayne Ivey and vice versa.
“My wife Susan says Junny is my comfort dog,” said Ivey.
In truth, Junny is Brevard’s comfort dog, a natural anti-stress advocate.
He is also the Sheriff’s shadow, a constant presence wherever Ivey goes, be it schools, county commissioners’ meetings, parades, speaking engagements or special events.
He has trod the stage, albeit as a cameo, during Space Coast Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” where he played, well, himself, to old-time law enforcement officer Ivey.
“The audience went nuts,” recalled Ivey.
In fact, Junny was so popular that he has been asked back to reprise his role this year at the King Center.
From the moment Junny arrived nine years ago on May 6, as a ten-week-old pup, Ivey knew the hound was special.
“A lot of bloodhounds are all over the place and not very disciplined, but not Junny,” he said.
The pup was a gift from the Jimmy Ryce Center, which has donated more than 18,000 bloodhounds to police and sheriff’s departments across the country.
Junny and nine canine partners at the Sheriff’s Office are gifts from the Center, created in the memory of the nine-year-old Florida boy raped and killed by a sexual predator in 1995.
Junny’s name, selected from more than 5,000 entries in a name-that-puppy contest, honors the memory of Junny Rios-Martinez, another little Florida boy who died at the hands of a sexual predator.
“When we saw that name in the entry, we immediately said that is it,” said Ivey. “That name means a lot in our community.”
The boy’s mom proudly pinned Junny the hound’s badge on him when the dog became an official K-9 member of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
First and foremost, Junny is a working dog, and whenever a search and rescue mission is needed, he and his nose are at the ready to join the other nine bloodhounds in the department.
He keeps himself fit for the job through weekly training with the K-9 team.
His other job is serving as an ambassador for the Sheriff’s Office, and here his genial personality shines as he makes everyone he meets feel happy and at ease.
“People are so receptive to him,” said Ivey.
During the Milk and Donuts sessions, Sheriff Ivey hosts at elementary schools across the county, Junny is ever-present and ever-loved.
The program aims to get to kids before they get in trouble by connecting them with law enforcement in a positive, informal and approachable way.
“The kids just get to ask me any questions they want,” explained Ivey.
They also get to pet Junny, and it is not unusual for the hound to be touched by more than 300 of his adoring young fans in the space of a day. A veritable hog for love, Junny can never get enough.
“If he doesn’t get petted, he will put out his paw to remind you,” said Ivey.
As befits a superstar, Junny enjoys his downtime in a well-appointed condo that features a photo of his favorite human, Sheriff Ivey. He has earned to luxury digs, for he is a very special pup.
“Everybody loves Junny,” said Ivey.
“Junny is a very special dog who I think truly knows that he was put here to bring a smile to everyone’s face and to carry on the name of a very special young man who will never be forgotten in our community.”
FILM STAR: Junny is also a movie star as he appears regularly with Sheriff Wayne Ivey in his many productions promoting public safety and rooting out dangerous criminals. Above, Sheriff Ivey and Junny talk about the Space Coast’s stellar drop in crime rates in this Florida Sheriff’s Association presentation of “Behind the Badge.”
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