The Lee County Sheriff’s department will be acquiring a new canine to replace the current dog Alex. Sheriff Stacy Weber announced Tuesday morning that he would accept the recommendation of his canine committee and handler Uriah Wheatley and send Alex back his training center in Arkansas. At Wednesday’s Lee County canine association meeting the committee formally heard from Wheatley who stated that while he has grown attached to Alex, the dog is currently not up to par on one of his areas of duty, apprehension and protection. Alex has performed well in contraband searches but has struggled at protecting his handler. Iowa State Penitentiary canine handler Mike Barnes explained that in a recent drill Alex shied away from Barnes as he mocked an attack on Deputy Wheatley. Sheriff Weber explained that like any other deputy, Alex has to perform up to standards in each of his assigned tasks. The plan now is to have Paul Samuelson of North Iowa Canine pick up the dog and return him to Arkansas and pick up Alex’s replacement to bring him back to Lee County in the next few weeks. At that point the new dog will begin training with Deputy Wheatley and the new canine will come at no additional cost to the county.
Outgoing Canine Alex
New Canine En Route from Arkansas