Hero K9 uses scent from blanket to track down missing child

Dogs are such incredible animals. They have an amazing sense of smell that can be used for important jobs, like tracking down missing people.

When one boy went missing recently, time was of the essence to get him back home safe and sound — and thankfully, a heroic K9 named Maverick was on the job.

Maverick is an English Labrador who was donated to the Union County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, and has been working as a K9 since January, according to WBTV.

Maverick helps the sheriff’s office by putting his incredible sense of smell to work. He has been trained in narcotics detection, article searches and tracking, and always makes sure to stay on top of his game.

“[Maverick] basically starts off wherever he finds that scent, continues to follow it to the strongest point,” Deputy Sheriff Joshua Dye, Maverick’s handler, explained to WBTV. “We do a lot of training with him – every week with him – to make sure he stays sharp on what he’s doing.”

Maverick’s ace detection skills were put to life-saving use recently, after he played a crucial role in finding a missing young boy.

After the child’s family reported him missing, Maverick was given the child’s blanket as a scent article, sending him on an urgent tracking mission. Deputy Sheriff Dye said “there was a risk for the juvenile to be in a bad situation,” so they needed to find him as soon as possible.

Thankfully, the smart K9 came through: with Maverick leading the way, the officers headed down a busy highway and located the juvenile in the woods.

“He actually came out of the woods and came to us, and Maverick ran right up to him and that’s how we found him,” Dye said.

According to a post from the sheriff’s office, the child was unharmed and returned home to his family.

Not only did Maverick find the child before any harm could come to him, but he gave the sheriff’s office a crucial lead in the case. His handler described his role as “very important.”

“In that situation we were out on, we tried to ping the juvenile’s cell phone and the cell phone was actually off,” Dye told WBTV. “We wouldn’t have anywhere to start if we didn’t have the dog with us.”

After a successful end to the case, Maverick and his handler were praised by the department.

“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,” said UCSO K-9 Sgt. J Presson.

Maverick saved the day — and hopefully got a nice extra treat. “Maverick’s favorite task is tracking and he is always looking for his treat at the end of any successful track,” UCSO wrote on Facebook.

Thank you to hero K9 Maverick for finding this missing child!

It’s a reminder of the incredible things dogs can do. Share this story if you love dogs! 🐾❤️