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Sheriff: Toro search worth it, tracking devices considered


WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI (WSAU) -  The search for Wood County’s missing K9 Toro had a happy ending yesterday morning, as he was found alive and well about half a mile from where he disappeared Sunday night. That is not only good for the german shepherd, it is good for the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Tom Reichert says the time and effort spent recovering the K9 was worth it. “We have a lot invested in Toro in terms of his cost, in terms of his training, in terms of the training the deputy his handler takes so we are certainly going to do everything that we possible could to get him back, and we’re happy that it worked out that way.”

Reichert says Wood County received funding from an insurance company to purchase Toro, and there’s the additional cost related to training the dog and his handler, Deputy Joe Zurfluh.

When asked about possibly using a GPS tracking collar on police dogs in the future, the Sheriff says they have already begun looking into some options. “My guess is that we will probably take a long, hard look at that, manned up with some sort of tracking mechanism that we would be able to use should this ever happen again.”

Trained K9 police dogs cost between $10,000 and $15,000 to acquire and train, and generally serve their departments for about 6 to 10 years. Toro is 4 right now.  He's been serving the department since December of 2010.