The Shawano County Sheriff’s Department is entering a transition period with its K-9 unit, as K-9 Getty is expected to turn 10 this year, an age that begins to exceed the working life of a K-9 in law enforcement.
“Usually the work life of a dog can be anywhere between six and eight years and anything over that is really a blessing because dogs put a lot of their effort into finding drugs, tracking people, and getting in and out of the car takes a real toll on them,” said Shawano County K-9 Deputy Craig Rekoske.
K-9 Deputy Rekoske has worked with Getty for the past seven and a half years. With K-9 Getty slowing down, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department went on to purchase a new K-9 named Rekon, who may not be your typical law enforcement dog.
“Rekon is a Belgian Malinois,” Deputy Rekoske informed. “When people see him they’re going to be taken aback because almost all law enforcement dogs in the area are German Sheperds. The Belgian Malinois is a smaller breed. It’s more athletic, it’s agile. Rekon will be a smaller dog, able to get in smaller areas for searching for drugs, able to squeeze under small buildings, mobile homes when searching for people.”
A lot of fundraising and donations were required to purchase K-9 Rekon, which can cost $13,000-$15,000 alone. That doesn’t include the amount of training that goes into making sure young K-9 Rekon is prepared to handle his workload, as K-9 Deputy Rekoske has discovered.
“Rekon is only 13 months old, where I’m dealing with a lot of the puppy issues that I didn’t have to deal with for years with Getty. He’s an adolescent. They test the boundaries and I always want a dog that’ll test the boundaries because it’s always easier to pull them back a little bit, as opposed to a dog that will stay right by you and not want to leave your side,” said Deputy Rekoske.”
Now Rekon is up and running and available for duty. Deputy Rekoske houses both of them with his unit and right now it seems each has their own unique traits to offer.
Rekon was brought back to the Sheriff’s Department in December, as he and Deputy Rekoske begin their lifelong partnership.