Missing Lake County sheriff’s drug-sniffing dog found day later

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A loose drug-sniffing sheriff’s canine was located less than 24 hours after it escaped from his handler’s yard, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Dozer, an 8-year-old yellow Lab, went missing Sunday in the area of Park Drive in Kelseyville, sheriff’s officials said in a Nixle alert. The dog was found safe and sound the next day.

Lt. Luke Bingham said Dozer, like all K-9 unit dogs working with the Sheriff’s Office, lives with his handler. The deputy let the dog out to relieve himself, and Dozer discovered a “weak spot in the fenced yard,” Bingham said.

“Obviously I’m not in the mind of a dog, but I think he saw something he wanted to go play with and he took off,” he said.

The Sheriff’s Office put out a Nixle alert to let neighbors know to keep an eye out for him, and his handler was out till the early hours of the morning Monday looking for him. Dozer luckily turned up the next day, found by his handler in a nearby neighborhood, Bingham said.

Besides the emotional impact of losing a dog, Dozer was an expensive piece of equipment to go missing: Bingham said the department spent $5,000 on Dozer’s initial training and a $2,530 yearly fee for additional monthly training for each of the two years Dozer has been with the Sheriff’s Office.

You can reach Staff Writer Andrew Beale at 707-521-5205 or andrew.beale@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @iambeale.

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