Erie County Sheriff K-9 Team helps track down missing teen with autism

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — An Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy and his K-9 Partner helped track down a local teen with autism after the teen fled from a vehicle near a wooded area.

Trusted K-9 Haso works with Deputy Ricky Lundberg. The team deployed to Collins when the teen fled to help bring the teen back to safety. Haso was able to use his extreme sense of smell to track down the missing 15-year-old in less then six minutes.

K-9 officers can detect skin cells and even the smell of crushed vegetation as one walks on leaves or through a wooded area.

In this case, Haso took deputy Lundberg through thick brush and muddy creeks until they found the missing teenager sitting at the base of a tree. He was a little distraught but was then reunited with his family.

Lundberg and Haso have also worked on burglary cases and narcotics searches throughout the county. He says K-9 partners are huge asset to the community.

Lundberg said, “With K-9s readily accessible, we can put an end to these situations before they get a firm foothold. Before they become critical incidence, we can resolve them with very little resources with little man power especially with little money. If we’re able to put these issues to bed before they can even begin, then I think right there sums up the value of K-9.”

Deputy Lundberg goes through training himself to be a K-9 handler. He says in schooling its drilled through his head to “trust your dog.” He says that’s exactly what he did to locate the 15-year-old.

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