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Vernon County sheriff swears in K-9 Dax
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Vernon County sheriff swears in K-9 Dax

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Swearing-in ceremony

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears swears in K-9 Dax, while handler Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Bellacero looks on. The ceremony was part of a meet and greet held at the Sheriff's Office, Monday, June 7.

The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office has a new K-9 officer among its ranks – K-9 Dax.

K-9 Dax, whose handler is Vernon County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Bellacero, was sworn in by Sheriff John Spears at the Sheriff’s Office, Monday, June 7.

Spears said he was proud to add a K-9 to the department and was grateful for the support of the community. “The K-9 program would not be possible without the overwhelming support of the community; that’s what keeps the program going.”

Bellacero also expressed thanks for everyone who has supported the K-9 unit and helped bring K-9 Dax to the Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Jason Crume said it is hoped K-9 Dax will be a part of the Sheriff’s Office for 10 years or more, just like Bellacero’s previous partner, K-9 Myk, who died in December of 2020.

Following K-9 Myk’s death, the Sheriff’s Office started looking for another K-9 to work with Bellacero. With the community’s support and donations, the Sheriff’s Office purchased the new dual-purpose K-9 from Brandon Lamere of Mid-West Working Dogs LLC of Viroqua.

K-9 Dax is a Sable German Shepherd. He was born Aug. 7, 2019 in Germany and imported from Bayreuth, Germany, in December of 2020 by Mid-West Working Dogs.

K-9 Dax is trained in narcotics detection, criminal apprehension/handler protection, tracking and article searches. Dax will have certifications from Mid-West Working Dogs LLC and NAPWDA (the North American Police Work Dog Association).

Following the brief swearing-in ceremony, there was a meet and greet with K-9 Dax and Bellacero. Their first shift together was to be June 8.

Meet and greet

Members of the public meet Vernon County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Bellacero and his partner, K-9 Dax, Monday, June 7.

Angela Cina can be reached at angie.cina@lee.net.

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Vernon County Times editor

Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Times. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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