UPDATE: Memorial service set for beloved Vernon County sheriff K-9 Myk, who died of cancer
VIROQUA, Wis. (WKBT) — A virtual memorial service for Vernon County Sheriff’s K-9 Myk, who died of cancer Wednesday after serving the county for more than eight years, will take place at 3 p.m. Dec. 16 at the sheriff’s office in Viroqua.
Myk, who was skilled in tracking and search and rescue, worked his final patrol shift Friday with his partner, Deputy Mark Bellacero. Recently diagnosed with cancer, Myk died in his sleep at Bellacero’s home, where he lived. He was 10 years and seven months old.
Myk, a German Shepherd Sable imported from Germany who responded to voice commands in German, attended police canine training at Steinig-Tal Kennel in Campbellsport, Wis. He received dual purpose certification, trained in patrol work, narcotics, tracking/searching, obedience and apprehension, under instructor/owner Larry Filo.
The regal-looking K-9 detected countless amounts of illegal substances and aided in criminal apprehension and officer protection since he was deputized in Vernon County at the age of 2 in July 2012, Sheriff John Spears said Thursday.
“Myk was known for greeting fellow officers and loved all the attention he truly deserved,” Spears said.
He worked with Deputy Adam Malin from his first patrol until 2016, when Bellacero became his handler.
“We extend our most deepest sympathy to Myk’s handler, Deputy Mark Bellacero,”
In a Facebook message Bellacero described Myk as “the best partner and friend I could ever have hoped for. He will be forever in my heart. Rest in Peace Myk, End of Watch 12/2/2020.”
Myk was the result of a community project of sorts, as many Vernon County businesses and residents donated $20,000 between September of 2011 and the spring of 2012 to the fund drive to launch the K-9 unit. Before that, when the sheriff’s department needed K-9 assistance, it needed to request mutual aid from the Viroqua or Hillsboro police departments.
Animal Tracks Veterinary Service near Viroqua provided veterinary care for Myk, while his food came from the Chaseburg Coop.
A video of Myk’s memorial service, which will include law enforcement honors, will be released soon after the service.
Myk’s death prompted an outpouring of sympathy on the sheriff’s department Facebook page, with dozens of comments, including:
• So sorry to hear this. Thank you for your service K9 Myk. Prayers for your partner and family, and everyone at the Vernon Co SO.
• Heartbreaking. He was a beautiful boy!
• My sympathies Deputy Bellacero for your loss of Myk.
• So sorry for the loss of K-9 Myk! Rest Easy Good Boy!
• That really sucks
• SO sorry for your loss. I know firsthand how it feels.
- So sorry… Beautiful furbaby.