K9's for a Safer Community
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
APPLETON, Wis.--Retirement is calling for one of Appleton's finest officers. His name is 'Mato' a K9 officer within the department. He's been at Matt McQuaid's side for years. " You know, we're kind of inseparable," Officer McQuaid told us. "You can't be with another person or animal pretty much 24/7 and not have a real close bond."
Mato has made his presence known by helping to track down more than 13 pound of marijuana, 146 grams of cocaine and 37 people who were either missing or wanted by police. Now, after all of his success, it's time for Mato to retire. "A couple years ago, he did have a knee injury and that kind of limits some of what we're willing to do with him." McQuaid says.
Now, the community is stepping in to raise money to replace Mato. Trevor Frank is the fundraising chairman for K9's for a Safer Community. The group is trying to raise $20,000 in donations to buy and train a new police dog. "We get donations of $5 and $10 and $2 and $5,000 so every little bit has gotten us to this point," Frank explained.
It's bittersweet for Officer McQuaid as he prepares to take on the bad guys without his partner by his side. "It's going to be hard to come to work without him."
But, their bond won't end. Mato will retire and live out the rest of his days at home with Officer McQuaid.