UWPD has three K9 teams — they’re always on call and each has specific training in a variety of specialties to keep our campus, and surrounding area safe. Learn more about our K9s below. You can also view our past K9s here.
Meet our K9’s!
K9 Maya & Sgt. Nic Banuelos
K9 Maya was purchased from Tarheel K9 Inc., Sanford, NC, in June of 2013. She is trained in explosive detection and human tracking. K9 Maya and her partner, Sgt. Nic Banuelos, are the newest addition to the UWPD K9 unit and have worked very hard over the past year to obtain all the certifications necessary to be on active service. Sgt. Banuelos says K9 Maya’s favorite activity outside of work is playing tag with her little sister, Ricochet. Maya loves to pick up all her toys and bones from around the house and stack them. She can also be found lounging in the sun on the back deck and occasionally she watches TV.
K9 Ritter & Officer Justin Zurbuchen
K9 Ritter, a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois, was born in Holland in 2015. He was acquired by the UWPD in 2017 and is partnered with Officer Justin Zurbuchen. K9 Ritter received his initial training at Shallow Creek Kennels in Sharpsville, PA and is trained in explosive detection and human tracking. He is full of energy and loves working UW Badger football games on Saturdays in the fall. K9 Ritter also likes getting lots of attention at community events on campus and around the Madison area. When not at work, Ritter loves to go fishing — when not on the boat he enjoys relaxing at the house with his family.
K9 Kobalt & Officer Zautner
Officer Nicole Zautner and K9 Kobalt, a German Shepherd, have been partnered together since 2018 and are the department’s narcotics detection K9 team. K9 Kobalt was born and trained in Holland and traveled to the United States when he was 1 year old. Along with narcotics detection and evidence recovery, K9 Kobalt is also certified in human tracking. K9 Kobalt loves coming into work and is a very high-energy dog. When not on patrol or in training, K9 Kobalt comes home with his partner and gets to play with his big sister, a 12lb Bishon named Kali.