Alpharetta K-9 who survived three-story fall advances in TV competition

An Alpharetta police K-9 has something to bark about.

Police K-9 Mattis and his handler Sgt. Mark Tappan won the episode of A&E's new competition show "America's Top Dog" that aired Wednesday.

Tappan has been with the department since July 5, 2006 and is now the leader of their K-9 team. Mattis is about six years old.

The Alpharetta Department of Public Safety congratulated the pair on Facebook after the winning episode aired.

“My goal was to make my family, friends, Department and community proud and show off how amazing my best friend is,” Tappan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And that best friend has had quite the comeback: Mattis was injured in 2016 after bounding over a 30-foot retention wall while running down a suspect.


BACKGROUND | After falling 3 stories, Instagram-famous Alpharetta K-9 to compete on TV


Click here to read more about the near-fatal fall and how the pooch is named after former United States Secretary of Defense Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis, who is a Marine like Tappan.

A&E said on its website that the one-hour episodes feature four police K-9 teams and at least one civilian team competing in three rounds.

Credit: @tvguidemagazine and @iheartmaarten courtesy of Alpharetta police

Credit: @tvguidemagazine and @iheartmaarten courtesy of Alpharetta police

The show is hosted by sports broadcaster Curt Menefee, K-9 school owner and former Secret Service member Nick White and sideline reporter Jamie Little.

Each week’s winning team gets $10,000 and an additional $5,000 to donate to the animal charity of their choice. Tappan said he has chosen the Georgia Police K9 Foundation. In the last week, top competitors come back to the finale course to earn the title of “America’s Top Dog” and an extra $25,000.


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You can get more of Mattis and Tappan on the popular Instagram page chronicling their adventures. The account has earned more than 43,000 followers and is mostly written in the voice of Mattis, referring to Tappan as SBA, or "Short Bald Alpha."

As Tappan put it: “Mattis makes me look better than I am.”


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