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CAMPBELLSPORT (WAOW) -
The Kronenwetter Police Department is welcoming a new member, but he's not your average officer. Meet Zander, the department's new K-9.
This comes after Kronenwetter lost its first K-9 officer, Chip, after he contracted Blastomycosis.
The community rallied together to help pay for a new dog and now, it's a reality.
"I was pretty certain that our program was over," Kronenwetter Police Officer Luis Lopes-Serrao told Newsline 9 of the time just after Chip died in March.
"You can't replace the other dog, so all you can do is hope that you get another great dog," Lopes-Serrao said.
And now, he's getting a second chance, and a new partner in Zander. The one-year-old German Shepherd will carry on Chip's legacy in Kronenwetter. "With Zander I knew right away his energy was very like Chip."
The pair met about a month ago and started training immediately.
"At first you expect the dog to do things like your old dog did and you're wondering how it will work," Officer Lopes-Serrao said.
The two are learning each other and how best to work together. "I really liked his energy and then it was just about getting to know him and working with him and seeing how he did and it's been really good."
From tracking down people to sniffing out drugs, Lopes-Serrao said the K-9 will be a valuable tool for the department. But the dog is a tool that he said was only made possible through the generosity of the community.
Hundreds of donations, along with $10,000 one from the BA Esther Greenheck Foundation helped pay for the dog and training in Campbellsport.
Officer Lopes-Serrao said he's excited for the future with Zander, but he'll never forget his two years with Chip.
"I'll miss the dog that he was, but I'm really excited about our new dog and I'm really excited about his energy and what he can do," he said.
The pair wrap up training in Campbellsport this week and then Lopes-Serrao and Zander will begin patrolling the streets of Kronenwetter Monday.
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