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RACINE COUNTY — Since 2014, K9 Nox has served Racine County alongside his handler Deputy Kurt Clemons as a part of the K9 unit for the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.

The department announced on Tuesday that K9 Nox was peacefully put to sleep, with his handler at his side, on April 30.

K9 Nox, Racine County Sheriff K9 Unit
K9 Not and his handler, Deputy Kurt Clemons. – Credit: RCSO

His end of watch came following the rapid onset of becoming lethargic while off duty. Deputy Clemons noted that K9 Nox didn’t want his favorite food either.

Per the department, the career of a working K9 is about seven years. These dogs tend to retire at eight or nine years old.

K9 Nox, a ten-and-a-half-year-old purebred German Shepherd, was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital. Testing determined that the K9 was dealing with failing kidneys. Prior to this incident, Nox was receiving treatment from his local vet for kidney-related issues, states a release from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office.

About Nox

K9 Nox, of the Racine County Sheriff’s Office, was born on Dec. 3, 2012, in Hungary, according to the department’s website.

In 2014, Nox was paired with his handler, Deputy Clemens, at the Southern Police Canine, Inc. in North Carolina. They completed six weeks of training together.

The department notes that they are a very reputable K9 training facility that has been in business for over 30 years.

“The health and performance of the dogs provided by Southern Police Canine has allowed our deputies to have longer careers with their K-9 partners,” states a Racine County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.

Upon returning home, the team worked the late evening power shift.

K9 Nox, Racine County Sheriff K9 Unit
K9 Nox and his handler, Deputy Kurt Clemons. – Credit: RCSO

K9 Nox served Racine County as a dual-purpose K9 certified in narcotic detection, evidence/article search, building search, tracking/ handler protection, and criminal apprehension.

“Deputy Clemens and K9 Nox quickly proved to be an asset during high-priority calls, SWAT deployments, open-air sniffs during traffic stops, and drug interdiction assignments on the I-94 corridor,” reads the release.

Over the course of the canine’s career, Deputy Clemens and K9 Nox had over 2,500 training hours and nearly one thousand deployments.

Memorable moments

• 2016: K9 Nox alerted Deputy Clemens to an aggressive man approaching their squad car. As K9’s handler was stepping out of the car, the man attacked Deputy Clemens.

During the struggle, the two of them ended up on the ground.

K9 Nox was aware of the incident and the danger his handler was in. Therefore, with the driver’s door still open, the dog wiggled his way through the door/partition between the front and back seats.

After exiting the vehicle, K9 Nox grabbed onto the man’s wrist with his teeth.

The K9 did not release until the man was taken into custody.

• 2018: In the early morning of a September day, Racine County Sheriff’s Office Deputies located an occupied vehicle behind a closed business.

In the release, it states that while speaking to the two occupants, the deputies noticed another man attempting to conceal himself along a nearby fence line. This individual was wearing a police-style duty belt that often contains weapons within his reach. After failing to listen to commands and coming out, the man attempted to crawl deeper into the fenceline, attempting to conceal himself.

The man lunged for the duty belt he was wearing. At that time, Deputy Clemens released K9 Nox and the dog instantly engaged the man so that the deputies could safely take the man into custody.

“These are just a few highlights of K9 Nox’s stellar career. When he was on patrol with Deputy Clemens, K9 Nox was all business, but K9 Nox was a gentle giant during community events, the county fair, or at home with Deputy Clemens’ wife and children – even with his titanium teeth. K9 Nox was a perfect blend of protector and community ambassador,” reads the release.

K9 Nox at work

More examples, pictures, and videos of K9 Nox’s work can be found on the department’s Facebook page.

Final apprehension

In April 2023, K9 Nox completed his final apprehension. The release states that deputies and other local agencies pursued two men in a U-Haul who’d committed retail theft at Best Buy. In addition to this crime, this U-Haul was also a suspect vehicle in numerous retail thefts throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

“After a nearly 20-mile pursuit, stop-sticks were successfully deployed, and a tire on the U-Haul started to deflate. When the U-Haul was no longer operable, the two occupants fled the vehicle,” explains the release.

Following, Deputy Clemens and K9 Nox chased after the operator of the vehicle. Then this man turned and attempted to fight Deputy Clemens. He was able to decentralize the man and K9 Nox grabbed onto the man’s calf with his teeth. During the struggle, the man punched K9 Nox and pulled on the dog’s face.

The release shares that when the man was finally secured with handcuffs, he stated, “I won’t ever do this again!”

The man was arrested for multiple felony charges and a DOC warrant. The man had a long history of felony thefts, fleeing and eluding, and an armed bank robbery. His arrest was made possible due to the work of K9 Nox.

“Deputy Clemens, you and K9 Nox were an incredible team that provided a tremendous service to the community,” said Sheriff Schmaling. “While I know you are grieving the loss of your partner, please find comfort in that K9 Nox lived a very full life doing what he loved – fighting crime and serving the community with his best friend. Thank you, K9 Nox will be missed but not forgotten.”

K9 Nox’s watch came to an end on April 30.

Department loses four K9s

K9 Nox is one of four K9s that the department has lost in the past five months.

K9 Friday and K9 Nitro have retired at home at nearly 11 and 12 years old, respectively. K9 Murphy died from a sudden health condition last March. He was over 10 years old.

About the K9 Unit

The Sheriff’s Office currently has four active multi-purpose K9s on patrol and one K9 trained in locating electronics.

The Sheriff’s K9 program is solely funded through contributions made by the community. Donations are tax-deductible.

To make a donation, checks can be made out to the Racine County Sheriff’s K9 Unit or by contacting the following supervisors:

• Sgt. Troy Ruffalo at 262-636-8785 or by emailing

• Sgt. Joe Patla at 262-636-3841 or by emailing

In addition, any group or business that would like to fully fund a new K9 may assist with naming the new dog.

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