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This dog helped find a missing teenager in North Carolina: 'We're just really thankful'

In less than an hour, the 2-year-old English Labrador retriever Maverick successfully tracked down a missing teenage boy who had run away from home.

This dog helped find a missing teenager in North Carolina: 'We're just really thankful'
Image Source: ucsonc / Facebook

Maverick is a 2-year-old English Labrador retriever who lives in North Carolina. Trained in tracking, he was able to find a missing teenage boy who had run away from home earlier this month. According to the Union County Sheriff's Office, Maverick swiftly tracked down the child in a wooded area. After the boy's family reported him missing, the English Labrador retriever and his handler, Deputy Josh Dye, sought the boy out in less than an hour. The sheriff's office praised Maverick's fast work in a Facebook post, calling the dog a "huge asset" to the office, Good Morning America reports.


In an interview with the media outlet, Public Information Officer for the Sheriff's Office Lt. James M. Maye stated, "These tracking canines—primarily bloodhounds and Maverick—they use what we call a scent article and it's something that a person has lived with, such as clothing that has their scent on that. In this case, this article that was used was a blanket that this juvenile had used, slept with, laid around the house with, so it was obviously saturated with the scent most associated with him. When you're walking down the road or walking down a path, you leave scent behind. And so Maverick picked up on that scent and was able to track it."


Maverick was donated to the Union County Sheriff's Office last December. He has since become an "office favorite" in the workspace. "He brightens up the mood every time he's in the office," Lt. Maye shared. "We're just extremely proud of him. We're just really thankful that this situation turned out great and that all the training that they do every day was put into use and then it worked just like it was supposed to." The sheriff's office was so proud, in fact, that it praised the dog's work in a Facebook post.


The post reads, "The track led Maverick and UCSO deputies along a busy highway but Maverick never waivered in his tracking abilities and the missing juvenile was located unharmed and was safely returned home to family members." The post continues, "Sgt. J. Presson (UCSO K-9 Sgt.) adds, 'We are proud of K9 Maverick and Deputy J. Dye for their hard work and dedication and consider them to be a huge asset for Union County.'" The post has received more than 1,300 likes and 144 comments from local residents who also praised the talented K-9. According to the post, Maverick is also trained in narcotics detection, article searches and basic obedience. He often works with children at local schools and is one of 13 K-9s with the department. The other sheriff's dogs include a black lab, some German shepherds, bloodhounds and a malinois.


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