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Lost and found: OPP Canine candidate

'Athletic' dog leaps tall fence in a single bound
Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 1.07.16 PM
OPP Twitter

A candidate for the OPP Canine Unit is in the dog house after going on the lam this weekend. 

Rex, a 4-year-old German Shepherd Malinois cross, escaped his handler's enclosure in the New Lowell area on Saturday.

"I can honestly say I don't recall a situation like this happening in recent times," said OPP Acting Staff Sgt. Peter Leon.

"I would have to say it's probably a first to the best of my recollection."

The OPP tweeted a missing canine bulletin at 6:13 p.m. Saturday. 

"OPP is requesting public assistance in locating missing OPP Canine last seen in the New Lowell area," the tweet said along with a description and a heads up.

But it wasn't the usual caution about danger. 

 "Rex is not formally trained and is friendly with people," the OPP tweeted. 

Leon said Rex managed to leap over a fence to freedom. 

"This dog appears to be very athletic in its abilities. He hasn't even received training. He is one of the dogs that is being assessed for future training.  He got out of his enclosed area and I guess he was on the run," Leon said. 

Maybe Rex was chasing a squirrel or a rabbit. Police can only speculate about what prompted him to bolt. 

The OPP tweeted on Sunday afternoon at 1:45 p.m. that Rex had been located.

Leon credits social media for bringing the dog home. He was found by a neighbour not far from where he escaped. 

"The power of social media played a very big part in this as well as the public keeping their eye. We do appreciate that because ultimately, at the end of the day, these dogs have the potential to serve our communities."

Police dogs are serious, hard working members of the service that are used for a variety of investigations including tracking, drug and firearm detection and locating cadavers.

"Maybe he's being re-assessed as we speak," joked Leon, who noted Rex's athletic prowess might be an asset. 

"These dogs are so valuable to us an organization for the great work that they do. We're very grateful that through the assistance of the public we were able to locate this dog and he was able to be returned to where he needed to be."

Maybe the wandering pooch will be renamed Superdog for his ability to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Leon says only time will tell if Rex will make the cut.

Perhaps he will get some advice from his fellow canine back in the pen.

"I'm sure that when the dog was returned the other dog would have a few words," Leon said.

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Sue Sgambati

About the Author: Sue Sgambati

Sue has had a 30-year career in journalism working for print, radio and TV. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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