Stuffed Animal Steffi’s and H’s For Sale at Weiler’s North Location
GOOD NEWS UPDATE:
Marshfield Police Department’s dedicated staff consists of two members that are a bit furrier than the others. Two K9 dogs, Steffi and H, currently serve the department with their human handlers, Chris Hasz and Terry Endries.
Formerly, K9 handler Scott Schlei worked with K9 Dora, beginning in 2001. K9 Arco also served the department from 2009-2015. H, a Dutch Shepherd, came on board in 2011 to work with Endries. Steffi, a Belgium Malinois, joined the department in 2015, and works with Hasz.
“When I got H, it was the start of the department having two dogs at once,” said Endries. “Two dogs means more coverage, just like any other position.”
Dogs are bred in Europe, through Vonliche Kennels. Dogs join the police force at around 2 years-old, and generally work until 11 or 12 years-old. When the dog retires, they stay with the officer.
“By the time they are ready to retire, it’s because they have some sort of ailment to do their job,” said Endries. “They certainly love what they’re doing. Biting someone in a bite suit is about as much fun as a dog can have.”
Each dog is an investment of $15,000, plus the additional cost of outfitting a kennel in the police vehicle. Funds are raised through donations, such as last year’s stuffed animal drive, or other larger private donations.
The Mill in Spencer, Power PAC shop, and General Farm Supply donates all of the food for the dogs, and Castlerock Veterinary gives discounts on vet care.
The department is always accepting donations for their K9 fund, and welcomes invitations to speak to community groups about their work.
With their natural skills and extensive training, the K9 Unit is invaluable to the department.
“Our main purpose isn’t the patrol work,” explained Endries. “We’re needed during sniffs for cars. Sometimes we go to people’s houses if they think someone is using drugs. Parents can call to see if their kids are using. The dogs can search for people in a building, and they can also track. Other things they can do include article searches, if for example someone is running from us but we think they dropped something.”
“They are trained to find and take down,” added Hasz.
H and Steffi are described as strong-willed, type-A personalities by their human handlers.
“They are very energetic,” said Endries, adding that those who encounter a K9 dog should ask before petting.
The only thing H is scared of? Cats!
A fundraiser is underway for the Department’s K9 Unit. Stop by the Weiler’s location next to Wal-Mart (on the north side of town) to purchase an adorable stuffed animal toy “H” or “Steffi” for $15/each (includes tax). Cash or check made payable to “MPD K9 Fund” only.