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The Burnett County Sheriff’s Office is looking to expand their K-9 unit. Sheriff Tracy Finch said the department is exploring the option of bringing on a second dog.

The Sheriff’s Office currently has K-9 Tracker who has been with the department for a few years now. The St. Croix Tribal Police Department also has a K-9 unit Reese.

According to Finch, Tracker is about halfway through his career as a police dog and the department would like to have a dog working during the day.

“Currently, Tracker works at night,” Finch told the public safety committee last week. “Drug traffickers know this, and they are trafficking during the day.”

Finch continued to explain that the K-9 unit is not just for finding drugs.

“If there is a missing child or a missing elderly person – tracker can help find them,” Finch said. 

The Burnett County Law Enforcement Citizens Auxiliary has already begun fundraising for a second dog. Those funds will cover most of the costs for the potential dog’s training. The initial training costs and getting another dog to the County would cost around $20,000.

“The cost to the county should be fairly minimal,” Finch said. She added veterinary services have already been donated.

Tracker, born in 2015 in Slovakia, has been in Burnett County since December 2016. He is a purebred German Sheppard that went through weeks of training with sheriff’s deputy Mitch Olson. 

The departments goal is to have the same trainer pick out a dog and put them through the same training process

“Tracker has done a really good job for us,” Finch concluded. “It will be really great to get a second dog. Especially with apprehension. If there are two suspects and Tracker bites one of them, the other suspect tends to give themselves up pretty quickly.”