Rex has lived with Patla since 2017, when Patla started the K9 program at the department. The cost of purchasing Rex and training both Rex and Patla was covered by donations from the community.
The initial decision by the Village Board on how to proceed was bound by an agreement reached with the police association when the K9 program began. According to that agreement, the K9 handler must agree to serve a six-year term. If the handler chooses to leave prior to the retirement of the K9 — such is the case in this situation — the K9 remains the property of the village of Twin Lakes. Had Rex and Patla retired, the contract would have allowed Patla to take ownership of Rex.
“From the moment we heard about (Patla) voluntarily leaving the Twin Lakes Police Department, it has been the mission of myself and my administration to objectively evaluate and decide the best outcome for the community, for the police department and for K9 Rex,” Grosz said.
He said the bond between the partners was considered, as was the potential harm of removing a working dog from service.
“If one subject matter expert we talked to would have said Rex would in any way be harmed by retaining him in our community, I would have instantly fought to allow (him to go with Patla,),” Grosz said.
Grosz said the expert opinion was that K9s like Rex are “happiest and healthiest when they are doing what they are trained to do.”