Who Searches When a Police Dog Goes Missing? Everyone!

Wisconsin sheriff's deputies mobilize foot patrols, a helicopter, snowmobiles and ATVs to find Toro.

Michael Leaverton  |  Mar 6th 2013


Missing dogs get varying amounts of attention. Some might get a lone sign hanging on a telephone pole, whereas others get large community efforts that use the power of social media.

Out of all the rescue efforts, however, we still haven’t seen one particular methodology — an official one. In other words, if the cops lost one of their dogs, how would they find it? Well, we have an answer. The cops would go crazy until they found their dog.

Last week, the Wood County Sheriff’s Department’s police dog, Toro, disappeared while assisting Wisconson state police during a drug bust. Actually, he took off into the nearby woods, which are filled with steep, hazardous terrain. The deputies wasted no time in mounting a full-scale search, on foot, by helicopter, by ATV, by snowmobile, and even getting the local news on the story.

“Right now we have Sheriff’s Rescue out there, Spirit Air is helping us out as well, and a couple of snowmobiles,” sheriff’s Lt. Shawn Becker told WSAW.com. “We’re trying to get as much help as we can right now.

“It’s difficult for everybody. Toro is just like another officer to us, and we’re all very concerned.”

Why did Toro run off? Authorities speculate that he might have chased an animal, then just kept going.

That theory seems likely, because when they finally found Toro — 37 hours later and a half-mile from where he’d most recently been seen — he was feeding on a deer carcass.

Whoa. When police dogs go AWOL, they don’t mess around.

Fortunately, Toro was fine, with just a small cut on one of his paws — “excellent health,” said Sheriff Thomas Reichert. On Friday, Toro — who is trained in drug detection, tracking, and apprehending — will go back to work.

Via Green Bay Press Gazette

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