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Search Dog Hero Finds Missing Woman

A search and rescue spaniel’s nose helped track down a missing person in Salisbury – after the dog was given the woman’s pillowcase to sniff.

Lowland Rescue’s six-year-old spaniel-cross Roo and her handler followed the trail over 1.5km after being given an item from the woman's house, understood to be a pillowcase. The missing woman was found nearby by a search and rescue team. She was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital.

Adrian Sawyer, chairman of Wiltshire Search and Rescue, said: “We operate in close partnership with all Lowland Rescue search teams as we all work to the same standard. This particular search needed extra resources and so we were delighted to welcome Jo from Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs and her search dog Roo to help us. The dog was able to direct the search in the direction that the vulnerable missing person had travelled, which allowed our search teams to concentrate efforts in that area.”

Mr Sawyer said the rescue had involved search and rescue volunteers working closely with police officers. Cops stopped the traffic while Roo and the handler followed the trail through town.

Sgt Keith Jackson, Wiltshire Police’s search advisor, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to call on resources like this. With high risk missing persons, the faster we can find them the more likely it will be a happy outcome. I’ve no doubt that this new capability to give us a direction of travel and potentially even track all the way to the missing person’s location will save more lives.”

Roo has been trained through the Search Dog Heroes project, a partnership between Missing People and Lowland Rescue, a winner of the 2018 Dream Fund, thanks to players of Peoples Postcode Lottery.

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