OnFocus – Deputy Kristine Beathard and K9 Arnie recently returned from four weeks of extensive training at Jessiffany Canine Services in Iron Ridge, WI, and began their first shift together at the Wood County Sheriff’s Department last week.
While conducting a previous kennel visit at Jessiffany, Sheriff Becker and members of the Wood County Sheriff’s Department K9 Program were informed of a very unique opportunity. The kennel had recently acquired and began training a different kind of K9 for law enforcement: a German short hair pointer named Lux (later changed to Arnie).
“K9 Arnie is not like your typical police dog. It is a smaller breed and does not have the pointy ears which can sometimes be intimidating,” said Becker. “We thought this look would work well for presentations for civic groups as well as presentations and demonstrations for area schools.”
Because of this unique opportunity coming together relatively fast, the Department needed to explore different options for securing the funds to make this happen.
“Deputy Beathard hit the ground running and primarily through donations from local business, this became a reality. Deputy Beathard along with Lt. Hoogesteger did an outstanding job raising money for the K9 unit. In fact, they raised enough money from the community to fund the K9, training, and all of the equipment,” said Becker. “Because of the generosity shown by several business, the Wood County Sheriff’s Department added their fourth dog to the Patrol Division.”
The name Arnie was chosen by a donor who assisted the Wood County Sheriff Dept K9 program by providing funding for squad equipment and K9 needs.
“Arnie is a great addition to our K9 Unit. This is not a typical Police K9, and after learning about German shorthairs capabilities, it made sense to expand our K9 unit further,” said Becker. “Being a K9 handler has been a career goal for Kristine her entire career. After touring Jessiffany Canine Services, we saw a perfect opportunity for Deputy Beathard to join the program. She is excited and grateful for this opportunity to support the community.”
Arnie and Kristine are trained to locate illegal street drugs in open area searches, vehicles, and more. Becker added that Arnie is a “tracking machine” and will locate nonviolent persons such as missing children or the elderly, or other parties at risk. Kristine and Arnie will also be visiting local businesses and schools for demonstrations by request.
Though COVID-19 has made this year unique to raise money, the Department members were dedicated to helping raise the necessary funds for the K9 unit.
“It took members of our Department to contact people if they were interested in donating to the program. In years past, we would hold events so people can interact with our members of the K9 unit. We just couldn’t that this year. We hope to in the near future,” said Becker. “People can still support our k9 unit by contacting the Sheriff Department. A good point of contact would be Lt. Charles Hoogesteger. You can also talk with our front office support staff as well, 715-421-8715. We plan to sell patches, t-shirts, and stickers in the future too. We always appreciate the public’s support.”
The department will be selling K9 patches or stickers, available soon.
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