Dogs have a keen sense of smell and have been known to detect all sorts of things we don’t notice without even being trained. Some dogs are just more sensitive to scents than others.
But when you take a dog with a natural ability and then add training, that dog can become an invaluable asset for locating all sorts of goods — and people.
Saby is a K-9 officer with the Birmingham Police SRT K9 Unit. His handler, Officer Dustin Brock, has been working with him for around two years.
On Tuesday, they had an opportunity to put Saby’s nosework skills to the test by tracking and locating an elderly woman with dementia who had wandered off and gotten lost somewhere in the woods behind her home in Birmingham, Alabama.
Loudell Hubbard had somehow managed to get a mile and a half from home. The 90-year-old woman fell into a creek Monday night and couldn’t get out again, so she put her purse down like a pillow in the water, and stayed there.
Saby led officers to the woman late Tuesday morning, and while Hubbard was bruised and wet, she had no broken bones and was still alive. She was taken to the hospital.
“It’s impossible for us to duplicate what he does and do his job as fast as he does,” Brock told WSET-TV, referring to his canine partner’s abilities.
“The same time Richard came around the corner Saby was pulling me towards the creek,” he continued. “I come around and she was laying in the creek.”
“I yelled ‘Ma’am can you hear me?’ She raised her head up and then we just went to her,” Officer Richard Wright added.
“When we got the call I was thinking if it was my grandmother I would hope someone would use all resources to go find her.”
Frederick Jones, a neighbor, said that locals had faith that Hubbard would be found.
“At the time everyone was still hopeful,” he said. “They had faith and was positive.”
“Joy,” Jones said of the reaction they had when Hubbard was found alive. “It was joy. Everybody was just elated. Everybody was thanking God and just elated. Really it brought tears to your eyes that she was OK.”
“The scripture tells us to love thy neighbor as thy self,” he continued. “That’s where we are with this.”
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