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Green Bay Police Dept. loses five K-9s in 18 months

Echo (Photo courtesy Green Bay police)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Losing a police dog is never easy. For the Green Bay Police Department, losing Echo was unexpected.

"What Echo was suffering from was called mesenteric torsion. Mesenteric torsion is basically a twisting of the intestine," said Lt. Jody Buth.

With a slim chance for Echo to make it through surgery, the department decided to have him put down.

"Echo was only 3 years old and only nine months into his career as a police K-9, so this kind of came as a shock to us," Buth said.

In May, FOX 11 met Echo and an 8-year-old named Ethan Engum. He raised $12,000 and that money helped bring Echo to the police force.

Officers decided to visit Ethan on Wednesday after school.

"He was a little upset as any of us would expect him to be and he sat with Officer Conley and a couple of the other officers and they talked it out," Buth said.

Within the last 18 months, the department has lost five K-9s. Three died and two retired.

The department says a new K-9 costs between $15,000 and $18,000. Donations help pay for new K-9 purchases.

"When it comes to the daily care and the training that we send the officers to, that we usually budget through an annual budget in the city," Buth said.

For 2017 and 2018, the department budgeted $15,000 for its K-9 unit. That money is used for things like vet bills and dog food.

The department says currently, its K-9 unit is made up of five dogs. The plan is to invite Ethan back to the department.

"When the new dog comes on, we're going to let him know. We're going to bring him down to the PD so he can see the dog," Buth said.

The department says since Ethan named Echo, they might also have him name Echo's replacement.

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