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DOG DAYS: Tombstone Marshal's Office and local nonprofit host first event highlighting working, service dogs

Posted at 5:46 PM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 20:46:57-04

TOMBSTONE, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Tombstone Marshal’s Office is letting the dogs out Saturday for the first Dog Days of Tombstone event. Marshal Jim Adams says this is an opportunity for people to learn more about their three K9s, and how they are keeping the town safe.

“We thought that combining Tombstone and dogs was just gonna be a fantastic idea because everybody loves both,” he said.

Adams knows firsthand how a service dog can change a person's life because his wife has had one for many years. The couple is teaming up to bring something new to Tombstone.

Joey Ramp-Adams suffered a brain injury in 2006 that led her to needing a service dog to help her complete daily tasks.

“I needed a dog to help guide me to certain areas," she said. "I needed to dog to help me get up and down stairs to pick up things off the ground.”

Ramp-Adams used her injury as a learning opportunity. She decided to go to school to learn about brain functions, so she could better understand her injury. She ran into barriers when it came to her lab course, because professors often didn't want her service dog in the lab. Ramp-Adams couldn’t complete her doctoral degree because she had a service dog.

"I had to end my Ph.D. pursuit because of one lab and one professor, who was adamant that I could not proceed," she said. "I had to end my Ph.D. pursuit and I didn't want that to happen to anyone else.”

Ramp-Adams started her business, Empower Ability Consulting, Inc. in 2017, with the goal of changing policies and helping students with disabilities. She started her nonprofit, International Alliance for Ability and Science in 2019, which gives students with disabilities scholarships.

Together, Ramp-Adams and Adams created Dog Days of Tombstone, an event focused on educating the public about what working dogs and service dogs do.

"A lot of people have... misconceptions about how these animals are trained or how they're treated," Adams said. "I can tell you that most working dogs and service dogs are better behaved than most people, and they are our family.”

The Tombstone Marshal's Office has three narcotic dogs and has developed their program over the last year. Their dogs and others will be doing demonstrations on Saturday during the event.

"There is a lot of awareness that we're going to be able to raise to help people understand what exactly a working dog does, what it doesn't do; what a service dog is and what it isn't,” he said.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday with a parade up Allen Street. There will be music, food, vendors and demonstrations on the field location at 7th Street and Allen Street until 5 p.m. Adams says dog rescues will also be in attendance, for those looking for a furry friend to adopt.

The proceeds will go to scholarships for people with disabilities and the Marshal’s Office’s K9 program.

The couple says they are already planning next year's event because they say the community support has been overwhelming and people are excited that there's something new in Tombstone.

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Alexis Ramanjulu is a reporter in Cochise County for KGUN 9. She began her journalism career reporting for the Herald/Review in Sierra Vista, which she also calls home. Share your story ideas with Alexis by emailing alexis.ramanjulu@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook.