By Brandi Makuski
A Knights of Columbus group in Plover has raised over $3,000 for its local K9 unit.
A rainy cookout fundraiser was held on June 25 at Plover’s Metro Market. Plover police and firefighters were present to help draw a crowd.
It worked, according to Gary Oudenhoven from the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Assembly 1216, as community members came out to purchase brats or burgers and meet Officer Jeremy Anderson and his K9 partner, Karma.
The cookout raised $3,055.22 for the Plover K9 program. Oudenhoven said that included the contents of one 12-year-old boy’s piggy bank, which totaled about $115.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic-based fraternal organization that also promotes patriotism and support for the community. Its honor guard participates in Never Forgotten Honor Flight, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and other events.
The Plover Police Department’s K9 dog, a female Malinois named Karma, turned two in March. She started her position at the PPD last November.
Karma and her human partner, Officer Jeremy Anderson, trained at Jessiffany Canine Services in Iron Ridge, Wis.
Plover Police Chief Ryan Fox said the dog and training cost about $15,000. That expense and the continuation of the program are funded with a combination of drug forfeitures and private donations.
Karma replaced K9 Bill, who was partnered with Officer Seth Pionke. Bill, a German shepherd-malinois, battled cancer in 2019 but returned to active duty following treatment. Bill returned to active duty until he retired from PPD in 2021.
Pionke has been given a new community officer position in the department, one that works closely with area businesses, landlords, and schools.
Donations for the Plover K9 unit can be sent to the Plover Police Department, 2420 Post Rd., Plover, Wis., 54467.