A K-9 bloodhound was reunited with his handler on Thursday after running away during a training exercise the day before.
Gunner, a K-9 unit dog from North Carolina, was visiting York County, South Carolina for a training session. However, around 3:00 p.m., Gunner “got away” from his handler and took off in a wooded area of King’s Mountain State Park, the York County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) said on Facebook.
Several officers began searching for the missing K-9, and the YCSO received assistance from nearby law enforcement, including the Caston County Police Department, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, and Police Division. Carolina law enforcement.
Fortunately, after 25 hours of searching, Gunner was found “cold, wet and thirsty” but in “good” health.
Officers who found Gunner said they saw it coming out of the woods and were initially unsure if it was the missing K-9. But after approaching and grabbing the dog, they quickly realized it was Gunner.
“She bends down and just grabs the dog and says, ‘I’m not letting that dog go’, that’s how she did it. And I was like, ‘Oh, what’s that dog’s name? ?’ He said Gunner, and I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s him!’ That’s when we found him,” one of the officers told Queen City News.
The two officers who found Gunner said they had just been called to help and had been searching for about an hour.
The YCSO released footage of the heartwarming moment Gunner was reunited with his handler, Harnett County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike McCoy.
“Thank you all for what you did. I appreciate it,” an emotional McCoy said moments after reuniting with the bloodhound.
McCoy told the YCSO he was “screaming” his name all night and could barely speak. “It’s a great relief,” he added.
The handler noted that throughout the past year he has been with Gunner, the K-9 has had about 35 or 36 successful missions.
Facebook users commenting on the YCSO video were also pleased that Gunner was found and safe.
“So grateful!! It brought me to tears… such an incredible connection between a dog and a person… they are heroes! said one user.
“Nothing unites us all, no matter what our beliefs, like a lost and found dog story. Who’s a good boy?” another user commented.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.