patrol and dogs
Dog and ball

K-9 Unit

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The K-9 Program

The Portage County Sheriff's Office K-9 Program began in 1991, with the first handler Sgt. John Keener and K-9 Ingo. Ingo was a German Shepherd from Sun Dog Kennels, located in Cross Plains, WI. The program was first funded through a donation by the Portage County Banker's Association and was approximately $3,000.00, which covered the cost of Ingo. Sgt. Keener worked Ingo until retiring him in 1998. Since then, the Sheriff's Office has worked seven dogs, including the current dogs--Lady and Yent.


Our Dogs

Deputies Wachowiak and White were paired with their Belgian Malinois K-9 partners at Vohne Liche Kennels, which is located in Denver, Indiana. Vohne Liche Kennels has a well known reputation for training well socialized police and military dogs. The deputies attended Vohne Liche Kennels' handlers course to learn basic K-9 techniques and training standards. Deputy Wachowiak graduated in May 2010 with his then K-9 partner, Baco, and again in October of 2016 with K-9 Yent.  Deputy White graduated in May 2014 with his K-9 partner, Lady. 

Yent and Lady are dual purpose patrol / narcotics detection dogs. Both dogs began training as puppies and were carefully selected by Vohne Liche Kennels for their natural drive to work. Both dogs know their commands spoken by the handlers in Dutch, and are both very obedient and loyal to their handlers. Yent and Lady are able to detect the odors of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, as well as their derivatives, and are specially trained in the following: 

  • Tracking and apprehending suspects, or searching for lost persons 
  • Protecting their handlers 
  • Conducting searches of large areas for articles 
  • Searching buildings, vehicles and other areas for narcotics 
  • Eating Cheese Nips on their off days, and prefer sleep number 60 


Looking Forward

The deputies take their K-9 partners home to live with them and are responsible for the everyday care for their K-9 partners, as well as continuous training to keep proficient with K-9 and handler skills. It is estimated that Yent will work with the Office until 2024 and Lady until 2021. Each dog will be approximately 10 years old at retirement, unless the handler feels their partner is still capable of doing their job.


Program Funding

The vast majority of funding for the K-9 program is done through donations. Any donation for the K-9 program is happily accepted. To donate, please send donations addressed to: Portage County Sheriff's Office,  Attn: K-9 Unit, 1500 Strongs Avenue, Stevens Point, WI 54481.

K-9 Donations


Please click here for more information about supporting the K-9 Program.



K-9 Program News

Sad News: K-9 Deputy Baco (Ret.) Has Passed Away

Baco MemoriamAfter a long battle with cancer, Baco sadly has died. Surrounded by his family, Baco was humanely put to sleep to end any suffering. Baco served the Sheriff's Office for many years until his retirement in September of 2015.  After that, he rested comfortably at his former handler's home. Deputy Dan Wachowiak and his wife Jill cared for Baco until the very end.

Deputy Wachowiak returned from Indiana in 2016, where he and his new partner, K-9 Yent, trained together for more than six weeks. This newest K-9 team started patrolling together just the week before.






Introducing K-9 Deputy Yent

YentOur newest K-9 has hit the road.  Yent, partnered with his handler Deputy Wachowiak, are on patrol in Portage County.  After training for more than six weeks, the newest K-9 team is ready for action.  Look for Yent and his partner out on the road and at public demonstrations.