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K-9 waits for paperwork to join Lee County

March 28, 2017 GMT

MONTROSE — The newest “deputy” will be joining the Lee County Sheriff Department soon. A K-9 Unit has been in the works for months with the plan to have the dog and the maintenance to be paid for by donations from the community. This has happened, and a lot faster than Sheriff Stacy Weber had planned. The dog has been paid for and soon will be headed for Lee County to meet his new partner.

When first mentioned two dogs were talked about, but that was reworked since donations would be paying for the animals. After a deposit was placed on the cost of Alex, the German Shepherd, another $8,000 was needed to pay him off. That took about a week to raise when an anonymous donation of $25,000 was made. So now would it be possible to go after the second dog as well?

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“The committee said they felt it would be more comfortable if it supported just one dog until there was more money in the bank because we wanted to be sure the community would continue to help us like they have,” Weber said.

Weber said it was not just the cost of the dog that kept the department from getting a second animal yet.

“We have to put a holder in the car,” Weber said. “It gets expensive. We have to have a special air conditioner. Each dog has to have a kennel at the department and a kennel at the house where it will be living.”

Weber said each dog needed a bullet proof vest.

“Each dog needs a vest because he’s a deputy, just like the rest of them,” Weber said.

Weber said there is no exact time line as to when the dog will get to Lee County, but the paperwork is in the process.

“North Iowa K-9 is in the process of processing the second invoice,” Weber said. “The first was for the deposit, which was paid, and now the large donation is making the remainder possible.”

Weber explained that North Iowa K-9 acts as a go-between with the sheriff’s department and one of several dog breeders in eastern Europe.

Weber said his department is working through Lee County Budget Director Cindy Renstrom to see that the funding stream goes through Lee County.

“The committee writes a check to Lee County and the county writes a check to North Iowa K-9, just so it’s legal,” Weber said.

Weber said donations cannot be made to the sheriff’s department, which is why the committee is in place.

“It’s too easy for people to say, ‘You shouldn’t arrest me because I gave to your dog purchase,’” Weber said. “I have had similar experiences when people say they have supported my campaign. That doesn’t fly with me.”

Weber said the three deputies on the final list to be the dog’s partner are already on the department, so there will be no cost to the county.