The Rock County Sheriff’s Office welcomed the newest student to its Canine Corrections Academy on Feb. 12, a Wheaten terrier named Apollo, seen here held by inmate/trainer Derrick Wetzel. Standing are jail Cmdr. Troy Knudson, left, and Jason O’Connor, coordinator of the Rock County Educational Criminal Addictions Program.


First, he lost a leg. Now, he’s in jail.

It might sound rough, but the newest dog being trained at the Rock County Jail’s Canine Corrections Academy can look forward to good times.

The program matches inmates with a dog to train to adoptability through the academy’s partner, the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin.

The 18-month-old Wheaten terrier with three legs is named Apollo.

A young person bought Apollo from a puppy store. Apollo then went to the person’s parents, who couldn’t afford medical treatment Apollo needed. That led them to the humane society, its director Brett Frazier said.

It appeared one if its femurs had been broken for about a month when the dog arrived Jan. 21, Frazier said.

“You wouldn’t know he had a broken femur to see him run around, but it was broken pretty good,” Frazier said.

Even with the injury, Apollo was “just a happy little dog,” Frazier said.

Surgically repairing the break would have been expensive and taken a long rehabilitation, Frazier said.

“With dogs, they get around on three legs just as good as on four, and a dog like that can bounce back pretty quickly with amputation versus trying to save the leg with no guarantee that you will,” Frazier said.

Frazier did not know how the leg was broken.

“This program is one that puts dogs like Apollo in a new environment where they can get lots of attention, a lot of training, and that is key to setting them up for a successful life as a pet,” Frazier said.

Inmate Derrick Wetzel is training Apollo to help him earn the Canine Good Citizenship designation. Apollo will be available for adoption “to a good home” after training, the release states.

If a home is not immediately available, and depending on his progress, Apollo could continue training with the goal of him becoming a therapy dog, according to the release.

The program benefits the dogs, inmates and the jail environment, according to the release.

The program has graduated 18 dogs since it began in 2014. Many were adopted before the dogs had completed their educations, said Cmdr. Troy Knudson.

According to various pet websites, “sweetie Wheaties” are gentle, affectionate and hypoallergenic but can be stubborn.

According to Greek mythology, among his many attributes, Apollo was the god of healing.

GazetteXtra.com does not condone or review every comment. Read more in our Commenter Policy Agreement

  • Keep it clean. Comments that are obscene, vulgar or sexually oriented will be removed. Creative spelling of such terms or implied use of such language is banned, also.
  • Don't threaten to hurt or kill anyone.
  • Be nice. No racism, sexism or any other sort of -ism that degrades another person.
  • Harassing comments. If you are the subject of a harassing comment or personal attack by another user, do not respond in-kind. Use the "Report comment abuse" link below to report offensive comments.
  • Share what you know. Give us your eyewitness accounts, background, observations and history.
  • Do not libel anyone. Libel is writing something false about someone that damages that person's reputation.
  • Ask questions. What more do you want to know about the story?
  • Stay focused. Keep on the story's topic.
  • Help us get it right. If you spot a factual error or misspelling, email newsroom@gazettextra.com or call 1-800-362-6712.
  • Remember, this is our site. We set the rules, and we reserve the right to remove any comments that we deem inappropriate.

Report comment abuse