By Holly Henry

A Radisson, Wis., man has been ordered to refrain from having contact with the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department K-9 after allegedly making threatening remarks about the dog on social media.

Jerry Wayne True, 44, is being held in Sawyer County Jail on $5,000 cash bond and was ordered by Judge John Yackel to refrain from using Facebook from any device including desktop computer, laptop or cell phone, and was further ordered to “have no contact with Sawyer County K-9 dog named Trace.”

True made comments on the sheriff’s department Facebook page threatening the public, officers and Trace. Formal charges of unlawful use of an electronic device and resisting arrest are pending.

Sheriff Mark Kelsey commended the judge’s bail conditions.

“I think it speaks volumes about Judge Yackel that he recognizes Trace as part of our Sheriff’s Office and is worthy of protection,” Kelsey said.

Yackel said a K-9 is a badge-carrying member of the department and deserved the same consideration as an officer.

“Why would I put a no contact on a K-9? I would do that in a situation where someone threatened the dog,” the judge said. “Although he’s not human, Trace is still serving as someone who protects us and deserves some level of protection himself. I’m perfectly willing to issue a no contact when I feel the dog’s safety might be an issue. They are deputies and should be afforded the same protection as our human deputies. If someone says I’m going to go get Sheriff Mark Kelsey, well then, no contact with Mark Kelsey.”

Yackel said he couldn’t recall ever being in a courtroom where a dog was afforded such special protection, however it just seemed natural to him to take the dog’s best interests to heart.

“We wouldn’t leave our canine friends any less safe than our human ones,” Yackel said.

Holly Henry is a freelance writer from Lake Nebagamon.

For more information contact Henry at 715-580-0479 or [email protected].