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 Sunday 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, which covered the cost of Ingo. Sgt. Keener worked with Ingo until retiring in 1998. Since then, the Sheriff's Office has worked with multiple dogs, including the current dogs Indy and Lexa.
Deputy Sadlemyer was paired with his Belgian Malinois K-9 partner, 'Indy', at Jessiffany Kennels, which is located in Iron Ridge, Wisconsin. Deputy Mathwich was also paired with his Belgian Malinois K-9 partner, 'Lexa', at Jessiffany Kennels, which has a well-known reputation for training well-socialized police and military dogs. The deputies successfully completed a handlers course to learn basic K-9 techniques and training standards. Deputy Sadlemyer and K-9 Indy graduated in August 2021. Deputy Mathwich and K-9 Lexa graduated in June 2023.
Indy and Lexa are dual-purpose patrol/narcotics detection dogs. Both dogs began training as puppies and were carefully selected for their natural drive to work. Both dogs know the commands spoken by the handlers in Dutch and are both very obedient and loyal to their handlers. Indy and Lexa are able to detect the odors of, cocaine, heroin, and 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
The deputies take their K-9 partners home to live with them and are responsible for the everyday care of their K-9 partners, as well as continuous training to keep them proficient with K-9 and handler skills. It is estimated that Indy will work with the Office until 2028. 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 & Donations
The Sheriff's Office K-9 Program is funded almost exclusively through the generous donations of the citizens, businesses, and civic organizations of Portage County, as well as various fundraisers held on their behalf. We raise money year-round to maintain the program and plan for the future.
If you are interested in donating to the cause, feel free to stop down at the Law Enforcement Center, or you can send a check to:
Portage County Sheriff's Office
Attention: K-9 Donations
1500 Strongs Avenue
Stevens Point, WI 54481-3542
We are also excited to announce that we have plushies of both of our active dogs, Indy and Lexa, for sale at the Portage County Sheriff's Office during normal business hours. They can be purchased for $25.00 a piece, with all proceeds going directly to the K-9 Program.
Thank you for your continued support!