Shelby County, MO – A Shelbina police K9 officer located a missing child within minutes, early on Sunday morning in northeast Missouri.
The incident began at about 11:48 p.m. when Shelby County 911 received a call about a missing five-year-old boy from a large apartment complex on the north side of Shelbina, WGEM reported.
Shelbina Police Chief Jerry Fenton said six different agencies responded, including Missouri State Highway Patrol, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and Shelbina Fire Department. They launched a coordinated search for the child working closely with Shelby County 911 and Troop B Dispatch Personnel, according to KTVO.
Officers immediately began searching nearby woods and fields that surrounded the apartment building, and called a police K9 to the scene to assist with them, WGEM reported.
Shelbina K9 Captain Cole Hinshaw responded quickly with his partner K9 Zuko, according to a Facebook post on the official page of the Shelbina Police Department.
Captain Hinshaw and K9 Zuko began the search from the little boy’s last known location, police said.
Once they started looking, K9 Zuko found the child within minutes.
Chief Fenton said that the police dog located the little boy at 12:30 p.m., no more than 20 to 25 minutes after he first arrived on the scene with his handler, WGEM reported.
The child was unharmed, and police returned him to his very grateful family.
“The use of K-9 Officers continues to be a vital asset for law enforcement, with reducing the time children are at risk," Chief Fenton said in the department’s Facebook post. "Congratulations to Captain Hinshaw and his partner Zuko, on another successful mission. Your devotion to the community is a credit to yourself and the department.”
K9 Zuko joined the Shelbina police department from the U.S. military in April of 2017. He was trained to search for drugs, but he was also cross-trained to search for missing individuals, Captain Hinshaw explained to KHQA when the department first brought the dog on board.