K-9 Chero honored
Service to PD unexpectedly cut short
By Bert Lehman
The United States War Dog Association recognized current Clintonville Police Officer Chris Wendorf and the late K-9 officer Chero, who died in September.
Wendorf was presented a certificate and medal from the association at the March 13 Clintonville City Council meeting. The presentation was made by Holly Gray, representing War Dogs of Milwaukee and Paw Enforcement.
Charr, who replaced Chero as the K-9 officer with the Clintonville Police Department, was also at the presentation.
“It is a high honor for a K-9 to be honored alongside a war dog,” Gray said during the presentation.
She also shared personal stories about Chero.
Gray told the city council that upon hearing about the passing of Chero she contacted the United States War Dog Association to recommend Chero be put on the registry alongside the war dogs.
Chero was born on Jan. 2, 2013 and started working with the Clintonville Police Department on Nov. 1, 2014. He became sick on Sept. 8, 2017, and died unexpectedly the next day from a medical condition in which his entire intestinal system was deprived of blood.
After Wendorf received the certificate and medal at the city council meeting, Clintonville Police Chief Jim Beggs also said a few words.
“Chero was not just a very unique and wonderful canine dog, he became a friend of the entire department,” Beggs said. “He became like a pet to everyone there.”
He added that Chero also knew when it was time for work to get done.
Beggs told the council that Charr, the current Clintonville Police Department K-9 officer, cost $19,000 and is currently in training.
He said the K-9 program is funded entirely by donations and fundraising with no tax dollars involved.
Beggs singled out Wendorf for his devotion to the K-9 program. He said the program is in a good financial situation because Wendorf is constantly soliciting funds and supporting the program.
Beggs also thanked Wendorf for his dedication to the K-9 program.
“I can’t give him enough credit or thanks for what he has done with this program,” Beggs said.
The Clintonville Police Department started the K-9 program around 2010.
“You don’t know how lucky you are in this community to have this program going on,” Beggs said at the council meeting.
March 13 marked the fourth annual Wisconsin K-9 Veterans Day. March 13 was officially proclaimed as K-9 Veterans Day in Wisconsin in 2015 to honor all military and working dogs.