Fond du Lac police dog Grendel retires


FOND DU LAC - A Fond du Lac police dog that was shot during a standoff three years ago is now retired. During a ceremony Tuesday, K-9 Grendel was given a sendoff fit for a hero.

For eight years Officer Ryan Williams and K-9 Grendel have been partners, but now, their relationship is changing.

"It's been a roller coaster ride, basically. When you train a dog you put your heart and soul into it and when he succeeds, you succeed," said Williams.

Grendel and Williams shared a lot of success, and a lot of tough situations.

In 2011, they were both shot and badly hurt during a standoff. Fellow Officer Craig Birkholz was killed during the shootout.

"In the midst of that despair, in what seemed for many, hopelessness, Officer Williams' and K-9 Grendel's fight to survive represented inspiration and some sliver of hope for the future," said Fond du Lac Police Chief Bill Lamb.

Both Williams and Grendel recovered and were back to work a few months after the shooting.

"I found throughout this, especially though the shooting, we are a perfect match, personality-wise. We are both tough and dedicated to our jobs, wanted to get back and love to work," Williams explained.

Williams told FOX 11 Grendel is not just special because he's so tough.

"He can turn it right off. He loves the affection. He loves to jump in your lap even though he's way too big," said Williams.

Community members also attended Tuesday's ceremony. Grendel shared a lot of hugs and kisses with some area school children who wished him a happy retirement.

So what's next for the new retiree?

"He's gonna retire into the lap of luxury, be in my house and gonna try to convert into a regular house dog. He's not gonna like it, he likes to work!" exclaimed Williams.

But Williams told us Grendel is getting older and it's time for him to eat treats, play ball and take it easy.

Officer Williams will continue with the police department.

A new K-9 dog and handler will take over for the department next month.