Unexpected illness forces Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office K-9 - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Unexpected illness forces Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office K-9 into retirement

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DECORAH, Iowa (KTTC) -

An Iowa service dog and his handler have some sad news, as the K-9 has been forced into retirement due to an unexpected illness.

The Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Friday that K-9 service dog Ricky is retiring immediately after being diagnosed with a terminal medical condition.

Ricky has worked and lived with his handler, Steve Nesvik, as a drug and track dog for the past seven years. The Belgian Malinois is also trained with bite and attack skills. The sheriff's office said the pair is a valuable asset. 

The next steps for the county's K-9 program is unknown at this time, since the news of Ricky's illness was unexpected.

According to the sheriff's office, the cost to replace a K-9 unit is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.

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