The black fur on Nash County Sheriff’s K-9 Officer Sasha’s face and tan fur covering her body was a welcome sight for a runaway preteen in the pre-dawn hours Monday.
Sasha and her handler, Cpl. G.G. Adams, were deployed shortly before midnight Sunday when a family reported their 12-year-old son had wandered away from their home in Red Oak.
“We were told the juvenile was last seen running up one of the streets in the subdivision,” Adams said. “His father said he had on socks, a T-shirt and jeans when he left.”
Deputies flooded the area looking for the unidentified boy, but an initial track with Sasha was unsuccessful. Officials didn’t give up though and when Sasha picked up the boy’s trail, Adams and Deputy Brandon Bond were quick to follow her lead.
They crossed a few roads and found the boy standing underneath the shelter of an unenclosed storage shed in the back yard of a residence about a mile from the boy’s home.
“He was OK, but he was cold,” Adams said. “It had been raining with high winds, so he was soaking wet.”
The boy was taken to Nash General Hospital to receive a medical evaluation but was not injured.
“It was very rewarding,” Adams said. “That is what a K-9 and their handler is for, and we were able to reunite this boy with his family.”
Adams said the teamwork among the officers was crucial to finding the boy safe within a few hours.
“Sometimes during demonstrations, people will focus on how much the dogs cost, but this is a prime example of how you can’t put a price on a human life,” he said.
“If this was your 12-year-old son, would you care how much the dogs cost? No, you would just be concerned with getting your son home and that is what is important.”
The 7-year-old Belgian Malinois has had several saves in her three-year career with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office. Adams has been a K-9 officer since 2001 with Sasha as his second partner.
“This took a team effort,” Lt. Todd Wells said. “It took a determined K-9 and handler to lead to a great outcome.”