Vernon County Residents laced up their running shoes to support the four-pawed members of the sheriff's office.

The 5-K-9 run-walk took off Saturday morning in Viroqua.

The proceeds will go to help pay for training and up-keep for the Vernon County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit.

It will also help the sheriff's office start saving money to pay for new dogs when theirs have to retire.

A lieutenant with the department says the K-9's are an extremely important part of keeping Vernon County safe.

"Every week the dogs are getting narcotics off the street in some form or another either out of a vehicle or assisting with a drug search warrant or something like that. It's not only narcotics, these are dual purpose dogs, so the biggest thing I like is officer protection," said Lieutenant Jason Crume.

More than 130 people pre-registered for the event and organizers say there were a number of same-day entries.

This is the first time the office has held a run-walk fundraiser.