Whitewater Police Department Remembers K-9 Officer Ruso

With heavy hearts, the Whitewater Police Department is saddened to announce the passing of current K-9 officer, Ruso.

Ruso recently developed a kidney issue and underwent a very common surgery earlier in the week. After further monitoring, it was discovered his kidneys were still not performing as expected. Sadly, Ruso took a turn for the worse Thursday afternoon and passed away Friday morning.

Ruso was officially sworn into the Whitewater Police Department June 6th, 2017 at a common council meeting. He was a high energy, 3-year-old Labrador retriever from Mexico. Ruso graduated from Little Rock K-9 Academy after months of training. The well-respected kennel has received high recognition for their K-9 dogs and training program.

He worked and lived with his handler, Officer Justin Stuppy who began his career as a Whitewater Community Service Officer in April 15, 2013. On March 9, 2015, Stuppy was promoted to patrol officer and is currently serving on the night shift.

Stuppy is a 2017 UW-Whitewater graduate with a major in Letters and Sciences with a focus on criminal justice. He currently resides in Whitewater. He is a member of the Crime Prevention Team, assists training new Community Service Officers and with the Whitewater Volunteer Cadet Program, and was the past president of the UW-Whitewater campus student organization Law Enforcement Organization LEO.

The K-9 program is a “BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR THE COMMUNITY” initiative. Along with Eric Lang and Mary Horing of M.E. & My Pets covering the cost of food for Ruso and Dr. Mike Newell of the Animal Medical Center of Whitewater covering the annual medical care, fundraisers and donations helped cover the cost of maintaining the K-9 Unit needs. A special thank you is extended to the UW Veterinary Care in Madison for assisting in Ruso’s care this past week.

A fundraiser, Run, Golf, Ride for Ruso, was previously scheduled for tomorrow, July 28th to raise funds for the unit. With his passing, the fundraiser will now take place in Ruso’s honor and memory. All funds will still go to the K-9 Unit in hopes of swearing in a new canine officer in the future.

The fundraising events all begin and end at Spring Creek Golf Center. The 5K Fun Run/Walk begins at 8 a.m. and for $20 you receive a t-shirt, 1 raffle ticket for a grand prize and a goodie bag. The Poker Run is at 10 a.m. and all vehicles are welcome for $30 for 1 rider, $25 for 2 riders and $25 per additional hand. This includes a t-shirt, lunch, prizes and 1 raffle ticket for a grand prize. The 9 hole golf tournament begins at 12 p.m. and for $120 per foursome, your golf, food, t-shirt and 1 raffle ticket for the grand prize per player and other prizes are included. Join for appetizers, DJ, and a silent auction raffle will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Register at wwcfpruso.eventbrite.com.

To make a donation or purchase a K-9 t-shirt in Ruso’s memory, you may register and attend the fundraiser, visit the Whitewater K-9 or Whitewater Police Department Facebook pages, the City of Whitewater website, or stop at the Whitewater Police Department.

“Although young, Ruso worked hard to keep the community safe,” said Chief Aaron Raap. “He was continuing to excel in search trainings at our local schools and made appearances at many city events including the recent 4th of July parade. Ruso was a very loving and hardworking K-9 officer and will be missed by the Whitewater police team and community.”

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