Vet awarded for service to K-9s

Photo By Rick Harris
Carter County Sheriff John Henson, second from left, awarded Dr. Richard Jablonski, DVM, third from left, with a plaque thanking him for his dedication to keeping the CCSD K-9 Units, Sgt. Bubba and Sgt. Kabor, healthy.

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
There is an old saying that states that a dog is man's best friend. If that is the case, who is a dog's best friend?
For the dogs of the Carter County Sheriff's Department, K-9 Sgt. Bubba and K-9 Sgt. Kabor, their best friend, apart from their partners, is Dr. Richard Jablonski, their veterinarian.
On Friday afternoon, Carter County Sheriff John Henson, and Kabor and Bubba's partners, CCSD deputies Sarah Ryan and Loretta Cloyd, presented Jablonski with a plaque thanking him for his dedication to keeping the canines healthy.
"We've been using him for about the last 10 years. We can call him anytime and he's always been there to assist us in any way he can," Henson said of Jablonski. "We trust him and he does a good job."
Jablonski, who has been a veterinarian for 21 years, has operated the Roan Mountain Animal Hospital for the last 17 years.
Seeing the work that Jablonski does with their partners has prompted Cloyd and Ryan to bring their personal pets to him for treatment as well. "I personally bring all of my own pets here," Cloyd said. Ryan said the same was true for her. "I bring all of my animals here, too," she said. "In fact all three of us do." Henson said that he brings his Bloodhound, Clementine, to get treatment from Jablonski.
Sgt. Bubba, a nine-year-old Labrador and Sgt. Kabor, who is five years old, have been going to see Jablonski since joining the Sheriff's Department. Sgt. Bubba is a certified narcotics detector dog and Sgt. Kabor is a dual-certified narcotics detector and patrol dog.
Jablonski stated that he has been caring for the police canine units at the Sheriff's Department since the department first decided to use dogs to help them in their work. "What happened was when they were tossing the idea around of getting dogs I told him (then-Sheriff Paul Peters) that if they could get the donations to get the dogs then I would take care of them," he said.
As part of his gift to the department, Jablonski performs all of his examinations and services free of charge. "We don't charge them," he said. "We never have."
Henson, Ryan and Cloyd all expressed their confidence in Jablonski as well as their appreciation of his hard work. "Anytime anything flares up we know that we can bring them up here and he will check them out and tell us if it is something to be concerned about or if it will be OK," Cloyd said, adding that recently her partner, Sgt. Bubba, underwent surgery at Jablonski's office.
"About a month ago Bubba had surgery. Rick (Jablonski) found two knots on him and he removed those and tested them and thankfully they came back negative."
The plaque which Henson presented Jablonski with on Friday states that it is given "In appreciation of you and your staff's tireless dedication and care of our K-9 Partners at the Carter County Sheriff's Department."