(OnFocus) The Wood County Sheriff’s Department newest K9 is now reporting for duty.
K9 Sig, a German Shepherd from the Czech Republic, completed training at Jessiffany Canine Services in Iron Ridge, Wisconsin with Deputy James Pidgeon and started his first shift on April 14. Retired K9 Toro is now transitioning as a pet with the Pidgeon family.
The department has two K9s, the other Ace under Deputy Brandon Christianson. Working dogs typically stay with the department 7-10 years, performing tasks such as narcotics detection and tracking, before their retirement. Toro was active with the department for a decade.
“I think that’s the longest we’ve gotten out of a working dog,” said Sheriff Shawn Becker. “Rex got close.”
This was also the first time the sheriff’s department was able to send a deputy to a K9 training facility within the state, instead of having to travel to facilities around the country.
“We’re really happy Jessiffany started up here in Wisconsin,” Becker said.
The Wisconsin River Valley chapter of Whitetails Unlimited generously donated $10,000 in March toward the purchase of a new K9. The department also budgeted for the new dog and continually raises funds for its K9 program.
Besides their normal duties, the K9s also take part in many community presentations on the dangers of drugs, including at local schools.
“The sheriff’s department takes a proactive approach on education to get the information out there so our youth have that information, and they can make the correct decisions,” said Lt. Charlie Hooges, head of the department’s K9 program.