Sheriff’s county sells stuffed animals to benefit the K9 unit

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Sheriff's county sells stuffed animal to benefit the K9 unit
Illustrative pic, no one of the K9 stuffed dogs.

K9 units are essential for police departments, but they can also be difficult to maintain. So one department began selling stuffed animals to support it.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office is selling stuffed animals to benefit its K9 unit, TheNorthWestern reports. The Office is seeling small stuffed police dogs that are complete with customized protective vests.

The stuffed K9 dogs are selling for just 15 dollars, but they have already been sold out. The department ordered 250 toys but it turned out the interest was much bigger than that. All that is left now are a few for the K9 officers will have in their cars to give out.

But don’t be sad, if you want to support the K9 unit and still get a stuffied dog, you will be able to do so soon. The department has already ordered more stuffies to keep up with the demand.

Anyone interested in purchasing one of the toys for a suggested $15 donation still may contact one of the K9 officers, either by leaving a message with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office or by email throughout the weekend.

In March, the department received a $17,500 donation from Thomas and Penny Harenburg to purchase a third four-legged deputy, and while authorities are grateful for such generosity, they wanted to find a fun way for people to contribute in smaller amounts while still getting a token of appreciation, Lt. Lara Vendola says.

“We certainly were very, very thankful for that big donation we got, but not everybody is able to give $17,000,” she adds. Proceeds from the stuffed animals will go to help fund incidental costs associated with caring for the dogs, such as medical bills and unexpected equipment repairs, Vendola says.

While the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office has run out of its stuffed animal K9s, there still is hope. Those wishing to get their plush toy for a suggested $15 donation may contact one of the department’s K9 officers until supplies run out or sign-up for the next batch.

There are three ways to contact the department:

•Deputy Erica Geschrei works day-shift hours and can be reached at

•Deputy Kyle Schoonover works second-shift hours and can be reached at

•Deputy Bob Zill works third-shift hours and can be reached at