Omro honors and remembers police K9 that passed away unexpectedly
OMRO, Wis. (WBAY) - It’s been a tough year for police K9s in Northeast Wisconsin. At least six dogs, two of which were retired, have passed away since the beginning of the year. The most recent was in Omro.
Thursday was a somber day in Omro as K9 Ando was laid to rest. The 9-year veteran of the police department, partnered with Lt. Corey Andersen, passed away on June 27.
“After his shift he came home, was fine. His handler was woken up by him about two hours later and the dog was breathing heavy and just laid down and passed away,” says Omro Police Chief Joe Schuster.
The department’s first K9, Ando, was so well known that it’s no surprise dozens of people lined the streets to pay their respects. Police officers and sheriff’s deputies from multiple agencies, along with state troopers and members of the local fire department, joined, too. The procession through town was a way to honor Ando for his years of service.
Chief Schuster adds, “He was a dual purpose dog, so he did drug detection and tracking. He’s going to be hard to replace. He just fit in well with our community.”
Ando is just the latest in a string of working K9s that have passed away. “Corey, Officer Andersen and his dog, Ando, they started around the same time that I started with my dog and my dog recently passed away in October, so I know what it’s like, unexpectedly something like this. It’s tough on you,” says Winnebago County Deputy Robert Zill.
In addition to Franz, Deputy Zill’s dog that passed away late last year, police departments in Appleton and Fond du Lac have each lost dogs recently, as well as the Door County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Zill from Winnebago County says it’s all just tragic coincidence, adding, “They do what they love and they’re going to do it right til the end and I think that’s why sometimes it’s so unexpected because we don’t know they’re hurting. They come to work, they love it, they do and then when their body can’t take it anymore I think they just, that’s when they give up.”
But only after a job so well done because in valor there is hope.
Copyright 2021 WBAY. All rights reserved.