Police officer Justin Stuppy poses with the Whitewater Police Department’s canine officer, Ruso, who died July 27 from kidney problems.


Whitewater will hold a remembrance ceremony next week for its police dog, who died only 14 months into his service with the department.

The ceremony, which is open to the public, will start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, in honor of Ruso, a 3-year-old Labrador retriever who died from kidney problems July 27.

Ruso's handler was officer Justin Stuppy.

To honor Ruso, city officials planted a pagoda dogwood tree in the Ray Trost Nature Preserve off North Fremont Street and East Lauderdale Drive, where the ceremony will be held. The preserve is named after a Whitewater police officer who died in 2010, according to a city news release.

Kidney issues meant Ruso would have undergone “very common surgery,” but he did not survive, the release states.

Ruso arrived shortly after the abrupt resignation of Whitewater’s previous police dog handler, Joe Matteson, and his dog, Boomer.

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