Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Sheriff's Office

K9 Kato Locates Endangered Woman

August 09, 2023
Lt. Gary Vandivier, 608-284-6155
Sheriff's Office

On Tuesday, August 1st, Dane County Sheriff’s Deputies were assigned to a mental health call in the Town of Albion. A woman reported to the Rock County Communications Center that her adult daughter made suicidal statements and had given a vague location of where she was. 

When the daughter’s vehicle was located at Silverwood Lake, Deputy Mejia and her K9 partner Kato initiated a track and located a personal item belonging to the woman, which led to her discovery in the woods along the lake’s shoreline. The track, initiated more than 90 minutes after the woman left her vehicle, took 35 minutes covering nearly half a mile. While deputies were helping the woman by placing her in protective custody, K9 Kato maintained his position for over three minutes, off lead. The woman was safely transported to a local hospital. 

“K9 Kato’s skills in picking up the woman’s scent after 90 minutes, locating articles, reacquiring and continuing the track, and staying for three minutes are far beyond our certification standards and requirements. This exemplifies Deputy Mejia’s handling of K9 Kato, as well as K9 Kato’s intelligence and obedience proficiency,” said Lt. Gary Vandivier who heads Dane County K9 Unit.

Silverwood Lake is a public county park with high foot traffic that can deter a K9’s ability to track a specific odor. However, K9 Kato was not deterred and was successful with his track.

“I’m very proud of the exemplary work done by K9 Kato, his handler Deputy Mejia and all of the deputies who responded to potentially save this woman’s life. This is the kind of great work our Sheriff’s Office is known and strives for,” said Sheriff Kalvin Barrett.