A newly-inducted police dog in the U.K. has already set the bar high for the other dogs in the Dyfed-Powys Police K-9 unit. During his first day on the force, a German Shepherd named Max found a mother and her 1-year-old child, who had been missing for two days, according to the police department.
Max was leading his human handler, Police Constable Peter Lloyd, when he discovered the missing mother and baby in a remote area of Powys, a preserved area of Wales. Lloyd then spotted the woman on the edge of a ravine, waving for help, Dyfed-Powys Police said in a press release.
"The woman had not been seen or spoken to for two days, which was out of character, and her phone wasn't working, so naturally concern for her safety was high," Inspector Jonathan Rees-Jones said in the release.
According to Rees-Jones, the woman's car was found on a mountain road, so officers knew what location to search. However, there was still, "a vast area to cover given the amount of time she had been missing," he said, according to BBC News.
The Brecon Mountain Rescue Team, a National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter and a search expert had joined the mission, according to the release. After an hour-and-a-half, they were found — thanks to Max.
The mother and baby were safe, but cold and "appeared to have been in the area for a significant amount of time," Rees-Jones said. Arrangements were made to have the mother and young child checked by a Mountain Rescue doctor and the ambulance service, according to the release.
"I must give a special mention to PC Pete Lloyd and Max, who on their very first day since completing their training together covered a significant amount of mileage in the search, eventually locating them safe," Rees-Jones said.
"Despite only recently becoming licensed, and on his first operational shift, he immediately commenced an open area search," he said.
Lloyd joined the Dyfed-Powys Police dog section in February, according to police. Max, a general purpose dog, will primarily be used for tracking and locating people, tracing discarded property and tracking and detaining suspects, according to the release.
"I was really pleased that during our first operational deployment as a dog team, myself and Max were able to safely locate the missing mother and baby," Lloyd said in the release. "Max remained focused throughout the long search and he proved invaluable when he reacted to the call for help which resulted in us locating them."