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Police Looking For Missing K9 Search Dog 'Gunner'

SWEETWATER (CBSMiami)- He's the one you want on a case when someone in missing, but now police are asking for the public's help in finding Gunner the K9 bloodhound who vanished from his home.

Gunner, who tracks missing persons for the Sweetwater Police Department, went missing Friday afternoon, police said.

CBS4 reported on the 7-month-old black and tan bloodhound when he was donated to the department by the Jimmy Ryce Foundation in October.

Gunner and his handler, Sweetwater Police Officer Jenna Mendez, trained with Palm Beach Sheriff's Officer Lewis Ledbetter and his K9 partner "Clue" for several months. Gunner was continuing with his training.

Bloodhounds have a very keen sense of smell so they are used to track missing persons. After completing training, Gunner was to be used to track missing children and senior citizens, as well as subjects who are on the run from a crime.

According to police, Gunner was in Mendez's backyard in Homestead when he disappeared. Police believe he was taken from the yard.

Back in October, Mendez said Gunner was a great dog with high spirits.

"He's a pistol right now.  He's got a lot of energy but he's getting a little bit better.  Still working on obedience but he's great," said Mendez back in October.

Sweetwater police are searching for the dog with units from Miami and Hialeah.

The Jimmy Ryce Foundation is named after Jimmy Ryce, who was 9-years-old when he was kidnapped at gunpoint after getting off his school bus in the Redland in September 1995. He was sexually assaulted and killed. His dismembered body was found three months later near a trailer used by his killer Juan Carlos Chavez.

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