By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ripon Police retire Vitus the a police dog
police dog
Ripon police Officer Matthew Belaski and his K-9 Vitus from 2021.

Vitus has been with the Ripon Police Department for the better part of the past four years.

During that time, the K-9 has handled Drug Detection / Apprehension/ Tracking.

“Vitus has shown signs of slowing down, and has an estimated remaining time of service of nine to 16 months,” said Lt. Jared Heuvel at last week’s special meeting of the Ripon City Council.

Officer Matthew Belaski is Vitus’ handler.

Heuvel said at the May 24 session that Belaski is ending his employment with the City of Ripon and, with the estimated time and cost involved, “it does not make financial sense to train another K-9 officer,” he noted.

Elected leaders agreed, accepting the recommendation to retire Vitus while allowing Officer Belaski to adopt the dog.

With the adoption, the City of Ripon will no longer pay for the annual care and maintenance associated with Vitus (approximately $5,765) until such time that another K-9 is purchased, per staff report from police Chief Daniel Sauer.

Belaski and Vitus have spent over 40,000 hours together at home and as patrol partner

Councilman Gary Barton asked what the typical service life is for the K-9 dogs. Heuvel responded, mentioning about 6 years.

“(Police) dogs go through numerous routine checks to ensure they are up to the standards required, but Vitus has been showing down,” he added.

Vitus has been with the police department since 2019, putting together a long and distinguished career as a police protection and narcotics dog.