Search and Rescue Dog’s First Find Brings Little Boy Back To His Family
A volunteer German Shepherd search and rescue dog’s first find brought a five-year-old lost little boy back to his family, safe and sound.
A New Jersey family was on a family hiking trip in Acton, Maine, when their five-year-old little boy Christopher Grecco got separated. His family looked for Christopher for several hours and reported him missing to the York County’ Sherriff’s Department that evening. Rescue officials, including teams from the volunteer Maine Search and Rescue Dogs (MEASARD) organization, responded to the call and began combing the area to find little Christopher.
Volunteer Dorothy Smail and her search and rescue German Shepherd Tala found Christopher. Tala picked up the child’s scent, searched for him and then returned to Smail to indicate he’d found Christopher. Smail said that Tala, certified in wilderness air scent searching quickly came back and barked at Smail, which is her sign that she’s found a person. Smail says she was so surprised because they’d not been in the woods long and this was Tala’s first find.
Smail said that when they found Christopher, he was pretending to be dead on a rock because he thought Tala was a fox who might hurt him, but when she came back to the boy and told him hello, he responded immediately with a return hello.
The child was found approximately half a mile away from where his family had last seen him at about 2:20 in the morning and Smail reported him found and then took him back to reunite with his relatives. He was cold and wet, but checked out and found to be safe from harm by the local hospital.
Officials say that Tala and Dorothy’s service was critical to quickly finding Christopher and shows how valuable a resource the K9 units are, particularly in popular but rural hiking areas. According to Maine Game Wardens, the K9 units like Tala make all the difference in cases like this.
Smail says she couldn’t be more proud of Tala and is glad that Christopher was quickly found and safe.
Who’s a good girl, Tala? You are! Yes, you are!