Local News

Kane County officials honor beloved K-9

Kane County officials are remembering K-9 Erin, a bloodhound who gave 10 years of service as a member of the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, according to a news release from the county.

“We mourn the loss of K-9 Erin who under the guidance of her handler Sgt. Nick Wolf, served the county and its residents with honor and distinction,” said Kane County Board Chair Corinne Pierog. “We will always be indebted to her for the profound impact she made serving our communities.”

According to the release, 13 year-old Erin was certified in trailing and tracking individuals and worked with Sgt. Nick Wolf from the time she was 3 years old. Sgt. Wolf, a K-9 handler since 2002 and the lead K-9 trainer with Sheriff’s Office, said there was no single incident that stood out in his memory as especially heroic, because there were so many.

Whether it was finding a lost child outside during a cold night or tracking down a criminal who was hiding underneath a porch, the heroics of K-9 Erin saved countless lives and impacted numerous residents throughout Kane County and beyond, the release stated.

“There have been countless examples over the years and many of the incidents didn’t make the press as we were always very sensitive to everyone involved,” Sgt. Wolf said. “She was there at the absolute peak of a crisis such as when we prevented suicides and also helped to give families closure when we recovered the bodies of missing loved ones. Without the dog, those people would have never been found.”

Erin was the fifth K-9 that Sgt. Wolf had worked with during his 20-year career with the county, and he said the long hours of training and 24-7 commitment is well worth it when you look at the important role K-9s play.

“Many of the smaller towns and villages don’t have a K-9 program within their police departments because it takes a lot of support, so we also help to support them as well,” Wolf stated.

Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain stated in the release that the loss of K-9 Erin and others before her leave a big void in the Sheriff’s Office, but he is proud of the training program they have built throughout the years and looks forward to continuing to strengthen that tradition in the future.

“As a former Sheriff’s K-9 handler, the bond between a dog and their owner is one-of-a-kind. The work that goes into developing a service dog is one of the most rewarding experiences a deputy can have. The accomplishments of the internationally recognized dog trainer that is Sgt. Nick Wolf and his incredible partner Erin will never be forgotten,” Hain stated.