TOP PHOTO: Lt. Governor Randy McNally honored Barnabas the bloodhound search and Rescue dog and his handler Candy Stooksbury on Tuesday.

Lt. Governor Randy McNally honored search and Rescue dog handler Candy Stooksbury and her bloodhound Barnabas for their many years in service. The proclamation was signed by Governor Lee, along with McNally and others.

By Charlotte Underwood

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County Reserve Deputy and K-9 handler Candy Stooksbury and K-9 Barnabas were honored on Tuesday by Lt. Governor Randy McNally. Stooksbury and Barnabas were presented with a plaque and proclamation from the Senate signed by Governor Bill Lee, Lt. Governor Randy McNally, Senator Ken Yager, Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton and several others.

The plaque thanked Stooksbury and Barnabas for their many years in service of search and rescue, tracking and cadaver searching. Stooksbury has been a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s department for more than five years and has assisted multiple agencies across the region with searches.

Lt. Governor McNally said it was an honor to present the plaque to Stooksbury and Barnabas.

“We are so appreciative of everything you have done,” McNally said.

Pearl the Porcelain Hound was also part of Tuesday’s recognition of search and Rescue dog handler Candy Stooksbury at the Sheriff’s department.

A bloodhound with a nose that can smell 15 feet deep in earth and 46 feet deep in water, Barnabas has quite the reputation as a tracker and search and rescue K-9.

Stooksbury has had Barnabas since he was seven weeks old; he will turn 11 this Christmas. Since he’s gotten older he’s winding down a bit but still goes out on all the searches with Stooksbury who also works with a three year old Porcelain Hound Pearl on search and rescue missions.

According to Stooksbury, she had to take up running half marathons and rock climbing to keep up with Barnabas and Pearl.

Originally from Washington DC, Stooksbury came to Tennessee to attend Carson-Newman University for her nursing degree. She loved the area so much she stayed.

Stooksbury and Barnabas have worked search and rescue missions, tracking and cadaver searching in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and other parts of the South East. They are disaster trained and assisted in locating people when the fires ravaged Gatlinburg.

Stooksbury, with Barnabas and Pearl, has also assisted the Tennessee Valley Authority with locating historical human remains as well. Barnabas once located a 2,000 year old Native American burial site.

“We try to assist any agency that asks us,” Stooksbury said.

She said she was “humbled by the recognition and had not expected it.”

Tennessee Lt. Governor Randy McNally stopped by the sheriff’s department on Tuesday to honor Search and Rescue dog handler and Reserve Deputy Candy Stooksbury and search and Rescue dogs Barnabas the bloodhound and Pearl a Porcelain Hound. Left to right are Knox County. Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Greg Morgan, Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins, Tennessee Lt. Governor Randy McNally, dog handler and reserve Deputy Candy Stooksbury and Barnabas.

“It’s amazing to get this honor; especially for Barnabas, who has done it for so long and is now getting older. I’m proud to see him recognized; this dog has done so much,” Stooksbury said.

According to Stooksbury, she named Barnabas after the Biblical Barnabas “so he could be an encourager.”

He located his first lost child when he was a five month old puppy. The little boy was 11 and had run away from home in Knoxville. Barnabas worked a cadaver search in Jellico as well, finding a car that had flipped into a pond.

“They love to do it, they love to work. It’s a big game to them,” Stooksbury said.

Campbell County Sheriff Robbie Goins said he commended Stooksbury for all her dedication and work with the K-9s.
“We are proud to have Stooksbury and Barnabas; they have put so much hard work and dedication into training and assisting agencies they deserve this recognition,” Goins said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/03/2022-6AM)