Officer Jerry Popp, from Wilmington, Ohio, did not have a good end to 2014, his dog and work partner, a Belgian Malinois named Karson, went missing on December 22, 2014. The dog escaped the boarding facility he was in while Popp was on vacation and it took the Wilmington Police Department and dozens of volunteers two months to find and capture the K-9.
Popp and fellow officers worried on a daily base that Karson would get injured out in the open. The dog could have starved to death or been hit by a car, but luckily, on February 22, 2015, Karson was found alive and well.
When Karson went missing, the Facebook page “K9 Karson” was started as a hub to inform the community and rescuers of possible sightings. However, with extreme cold temperatures this past winter, sightings of the dog dwindled and so did the hope of finding Karson.
On Februrary 21, a police dispatcher contacted Popp telling him they had a new sighting of the four-legged officer. Immediately, a new rescue mission was set in place.
It took rescuers hours to secure the perimeter, they then chased down Karson who was on survival mode and unresponsive to usual commands. Rescuers knew they had to tire the dog out in order to approach him, and as soon as Karson got tired, he turned to Popp and then jumped inside the nearest police truck in the field.
Just like that the search and rescue mission was over and Karson was safe.
“Karson has been found. I have him in the truck next to me. He’s alive and healthy. It’s all over finally,” posted Popp on the Facebook page.
What followed was a thorough vet check, a good meal and a well deserve rest. Karson slept for hours and then visited many of those who helped look for him.
The K9 went back to training and on March 9, 2015, he went back to work.
Officer Popp said his partner picked up just where he left off and it was as if the dog had never been lost for two months.
Popp is ecstatic to have his best friend and work partner back home.