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Tuesday - May 16, 2017 2:32 am

La Crosse P.D. honors K9 Brutus, after unsuccessful back surgery forced retirement Featured

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Brutus and his human, officer Casey Rossman back in 2012. Brutus and his human, officer Casey Rossman back in 2012. @LaCrossePolice on Facebook

Brutus is living the good life of treats and pets with his former partner and family.

One officer has had to adjust, while his partner is living the life of retirement. 

La Crosse police officer Casey Rossman said it's a little different not going to work without Brutus by his side. 

For seven years, the two patrolled together - Rossman driving the squad with his four-legged partner in the back, ready at his beck and call.

But the German Shepherd was forced into an early retirement in March, after an unsuccessful surgery last December to repair a herniated disc - a procedure that received several donations from the community. 

Brutus, who began dragging his hind leg last September, can no longer use his back legs. The dog was honored Monday night for his career and will be honored again in May during Police Week.

It's not all bad for the pup, however. Life as an officer deprives a dog certain luxuries.

"He can actually get to eat a treat now," Rossman said with a laugh, no doubt spoiling the German Shepherd whenever possible.

A La Crosse Police Dept. policy is in place where K9 handlers are given the option to own their dog upon retirement, and Rossman didn't think twice about bringing Brutus home with him.

"He's my friend and our family member, so now he can come home on retirement and just be a regular part of the family," Rossman said. 

Brutus, born April 12, 2007, joined the force on Jan. 19, 2010 and was introduced to Rossman.

"We had our trials and tribulations starting out and training together," Rossman admitted. "I was fumbling all over him and he was fumbling all over me but we bonded in that time and spent countless hours training in drug detection, tracking and apprehension."

Since Brutus literally came from Germany, it forced Rossman to learn some of the dog's second language, as his commands were in German.

The two teamed up on the always interesting night shift for those seven years.

"He was with me, in the back of my car, on the long cold nights and the long hot tracks to some nice big drug busts," Rossman said.

The two even took home first place in several area drug detection competitions. 




Last modified on Tuesday - May 16, 2017 3:05 am
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