UCSO: K-9 Maverick uses scent from blanket to track down missing child
Maverick, a white English Lab, was donated by a local family to the sheriff’s office.
MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) - A K-9 with the Union County Sheriff’s Office is being recognized for tracking down a juvenile who had been reported missing by their family.
Maverick, a white English Lab, was donated by a local family to the sheriff’s office. He’s been on the streets since January.
The dog, deputies say, is also responsible for finding a child reported missing by family earlier this month.
“Being that there was a risk for the juvenile to be in a bad situation, we put Maverick on a scent article, the kid’s blanket, and he was able to track based off that smell,” said Deputy Sheriff Joshua Dye.
A smell was all Maverick needed.
“We tracked down to a pretty busy highway, made one turn, went down another road. When the juvenile saw us coming down the road, he actually came out of the woods and came to us, and Maverick ran right up to him and that’s how we found him,” Dye said.
Dye is Maverick’s handler. He says K-9s such as Maverick are important to law enforcement work.
In fact, in this case, he was the difference.
“Very important. In that situation we were out on, we tried to ping the juvenile’s cell phone and the cell phone was actually off and we wouldn’t have anywhere to start if we didn’t have the dog with us,” Dye said.
So, how does Maverick know what scent to follow?
“Basically starts off wherever he finds that scent, continues to follow it to the strongest point. We do a lot of training with him - every week with him - to make sure he stays sharp on what he’s doing,” Dye said.
Maverick has been trained in narcotics detection, tracking, article searches, and basic obedience.
Deputies need help naming new K-9
Union County Sheriff’s deputies also need residents’ help in naming a new K-9. The department revealed the 11-week-old German Shepherd on social media Tuesday night.
Anyone with a suggestion can submit it on the department’s Facebook page.
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