A rescue dog has found a blind man with epilepsy who had been missing for three days. The black Labrador mix and her handler worked in tandem with the local police to find the missing man.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3-year-old Ruby, a professional search dog, has been credited for finding a man named Chris Newton. Based on a FaceBook post by the Hillsboro Police Department, Newton is 43-years-old, blind, and suffers from epilepsy. The Missouri police department posted an alert for Newton yesterday at 12:14 a.m. on its FaceBook page. At the time, the 43-year-old had been missing for 18 hours.
It seems that some time after that post, the Hillsboro police brought in Gateway Search Dogs to help find Newton. The blind man’s scent led searchers to a wooded area where Wallee, a bloodhound, had located a shoe which is believed to be Newton’s.
The rescue team searched the wooded area where the shoe was found further until Ruby picked up Newton’s scent. At the smell of the missing man, Ruby bolted toward a creek bed where her handler, Maria Vollmer, found Newton alive.
According to an updated FaceBook post by the Hillsboro Police Department, Chris Newton was found a quarter mile away from his home. He is in good health. Other than the Gateway Search Dogs, the Hillsboro Fire Protection District and Valle Ambulance District also helped find the missing 43-year-old man.
Vollmer seemed happy and grateful to have found Newton alive. She tells St. Louis Post-Dispatch that search parties are usually dispatched when searching for cadavers, not live people.
“It was really nice to find somebody alive. We don’t often get to do that.”
Chris Newton was immediately hooked up to an IV when the ambulance arrived. Then, he was brought to an undisclosed location for further evaluation.
As for Ruby, she received a delicious treat, of course. The rescue dog received a freshly cooked chicken breast from Russell House for her efforts and contribution to the search.
For those interested in supporting Gateway Search Dogs, Inc., the non-profit organization has a FaceBook page where people can submit donations. According to the organization’s page, it was founded back in 2001. Gatway Search Dogs, Inc. trains and supports handlers in finding lost, trapped, incapacitated or deceased victims when requested by official agencies, like the fire or police department. Gateway Search Dogs, Inc. gives dogs and their handlers a purpose.