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New K-9 dog coming

A fresh nose will be on the scent for the Wadena County Sheriff's Office this summer after the department ordered a new dog for its K-9 unit.

The new dog will replace Deputy Danny, the county's current K-9 officer who is getting some grey whiskers under his chin and is set for retirement.

The department is getting the dog through a trainer in Coon Rapids, said K-9 Deputy Luke Manderschied, who will be the dog's handler. The trainer is still selecting which dog will work best for the county, but it will probably come from the Czech Republic. The dog costs $7,000, he said, and additional training costs could amount to $5,500. Manderschied expects to spend about a month training with the dog.

The sheriff's department raised $8,200 in donations so far from organizations around the county, Sheriff Mike Carr said. He wants the public to take ownership of the dog.

K-9 unit dogs do the work of about four people when it comes to the kind of work they do, Manderschied said. They're a great asset for locating missing people and narcotics and contraband in the county.

"They're an officer just like I am," he said.

Manderschied hopes to have the dog in Wadena County by June 1, but that depends partly on the weather, he said. It has to be about 20-30 degrees in order to fly the dog to Minnesota for additional training here.

The sheriff's department isn't quite sure what it will do with Danny, Manderschied said, and is exploring different options.