HILLSBORO, Mo. (AP) — A missing blind man is safe, thanks to the nose of a 3-year-old black lab mix who sniffed him out.
Ruby was part of a weekend search team looking for the man in Hillsboro, Missouri, 40 miles southwest of St. Louis. The man, who has epilepsy in addition to blindness, was reported missing Friday.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that on Sunday, it was another bloodhound named Wally who first found one of the man’s shoes in a wooded area. With the search area narrowed, Ruby picked up the man’s scent and headed to a creek bed, where Ruby’s handler, Marla Vollmer, found the man. He was a quarter-mile from his home.
The man was taken in for medical evaluation. There was no immediate word on his condition.
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Vollmer is a volunteer with Gateway Search Dogs, a canine search-and-rescue organization. Typically, the search dogs are used on cadaver searches.
“It was really nice to find somebody alive,” Vollmer said. “We don’t often get the opportunity to do that.”
As her reward, Ruby was treated to a freshly cooked chicken breast.
Vollmer’s search and rescue dog Rowdy was shot and killed in August, but she felt his presence over the weekend.
“I think Rowdy was watching over us today and trying to give us a little guidance,” Vollmer said.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com