MARION, Wis. (WBAY) – The Marion Police Department prepares to say goodbye to one of its own. K9 Utos was euthanized back in December after a heart defect made him sick. The purebred German shepherd wasn’t just part of the police department, he was a huge part of the community, too.
K9 Utos first partnered up with Marion police officer Eric Krause back in 2012. For the next four-plus years, the two not only fought crime but helped to bring a sense of security to the community.
According to Officer Krause, “He took a lot of drugs off of our streets, missing people, apprehended criminals that were fleeing from law enforcement. Served not only Marion, but the surrounding communities as well.”
So Utos’ unexpected death, just last month, came as a shock. Krause says, “The valves of his heart expanded at the same time the walls of his had contracted and basically he was in cardiac failure.”
Utos was put down on December 23rd. “It was the day before Christmas Eve, so the kids were there, I was there, the wife was there it was tough on all of us,” says Officer Krause.
The all of us includes the Marion community, as Utos wasn’t just a crime fighter, but a public relations tool too. He was funded by community donations, so his death isn’t just being mourned by the police department but by the residents and business owners in Marion as well.
Chief Kevin Schultz of the Marion Police Department says, “He’s put on the miles going to Lions, Lioness Clubs, different charity groups to do demonstrations, the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, stuff like that. Everybody knows Utos and knew who he was.”
That’s why the police department has arranged for a police procession from the Fox Valley Animal Referral Center through the streets of Marion on Saturday. The procession will be followed by a visitation and memorial service for Utos.
Officer Krause says, “He belonged to everybody and everybody had a real good connection with him.//Everyone has their story with the dog so it will be tough but it will be good for healing.”
And even though the Marion City Council has given the police department approval to replace Utos, his partner, Officer Krause, says the new dog the department gets will have big shoes to fill.
Below is the itinerary for the memorial:
• 9:00 am-A law enforcement escort will be given to K9 Utos from the Fox Valley Animal Referral Center to Marion.
• 10:00 am to 11:00 am-A visitation will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the Parish Hall
• 11:00 am-A short service will be conducted for K9 Utos
We invite the public to line the streets during the procession and show your support for K9 Utos, Officer Eric Krause and his family, and the Marion Police Department. The public is welcome to the visitation and service.
The route tentatively planned is:
• Leave Appleton Animal Referral Center and take CTH BB to the Fox Valley Technical College to meet up with other law enforcement agencies wishing to participate in the escort
• Leave FVTC and continue westbound CTH BB
• Take a right and continue northbound on STH 76 towards Greenville
• Take a left and continue westbound on STH 15 towards Hortonville
• Take a right and continue northbound on U.S. Hwy 45 towards Clintonville
• Go through Clintonville and continue northbound on U.S. Hwy 45 towards Marion
• Take a left on STH 110/N. Main Street and proceed southbound through Marion
• Take a left on CTH S/E. Ramsdell Street and then a right onto E. Garfield Avenue to St. John’s Lutheran Church.