ALPHARETTA, Ga. — TikTok celebrity and Instagram star Mattis, a retired K-9 from the Alpharetta Police Department, earned some screen time this month. The internet famous German Shepard and his partner Sgt. Mark Tappan were honored by the American Kennel Club (AKC) on ESPN.
ESPN aired the 2021 AKC Awards on Dec. 2, a ceremony dedicated to honoring therapy dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs, companion dogs and uniformed service dogs. With more than $3 million in drug seizers under his collar, Mattis ultimately clinched the Uniformed Service K-9 category.
However, this was not the first time Mattis has been in front of the camera. Mattis and Tappan have previously appeared on America’s Top Dog TV series.
“He is the face of law enforcement here and has built a bridge between the public and the department." Tappan told AKC. "If you have a dog, people who might not ordinarily approach you will do so. They want to know more about Mattis and my relationship with him.”
Having garnered over 200 arrests in his career, AKC reports, Mattis ultimately retired in March 2021. Mattis was awarded a Purple Heart in 2017 after being injured while chasing a pair of suspects that were attempting to flee a traffic stop.
However, Mattis and Tappan's efforts for the community did not stop at the police station. They have also raised over $200,000 for charity.
“For me, social media is all about making an impact, making a difference,” Tappan told AKC. “Cure Childhood Cancer has been our focus. It’s one of those organizations where you simply can’t say no to help.”