BROWN COUNTY -- A K-9 officer is often referred as a member of the team -- even a family member, and when a Brown County Sheriff's Office's K-9 died on August 12th at the PGA Championship, many hearts were broken -- including that of a local man who is now stepping up to help.
Stan Kass' life work has been with vending machines, but his life's passion is his dog. 'Reggie' goes everywhere with Kass.
"24 hours a day. He gets mad at me," said Kass with Skylark Vending.
Kass and Reggie became friends five years ago when Kass lost his wife.
"So we're buddies for life," said Kass.
It's the love for animals that Kass has spread throughout Wisconsin.
"I'm 82 years old. Where can I give my money? My kids have all been taken care of. I have no problem. They're all in real good shape," said Kass.
Kass' money helps dogs. Dozens of law enforcement agencies have been outfitted with K-9 units thanks to Kass. Two of those dogs stood proud as Kass made his 27th donation.
"I have a check for you. I made it out for the full amount," Kass said.
This time, the check was for the Brown County Sheriff's Office, which lost K-9 Wix at Whistling Straits when both the AC blower and a system designed to alert deputies when the squad car gets too hot failed and Wix died.
"He is greatly missed," said Brown County Deputy Chief Todd Delain. "This will also help us down the road so this is a tremendous surprise to us and we are absolutely happy," said Delain.
Sheriff's officials says the new K-9 officer won't replace Wix, but it'll fill a void.
"To be able to get that team back together as quickly as we can is important for the community," Delain said.
Wix's handler will train with a new dog in Albuquerque on Saturday, September 12th. They plan to have the new K-9 officer working by November.
As for the failed air conditioning system, the company that owns the systems is currently in Brown County. The company assessed the systems and found there to be a software issue.
Now, all the Brown County K-9 squad cars are being updated with brand new systems.