Missing Pr. George's Police Dog Zoey Is Found

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009; 4:39 PM

The Prince George's County Sheriff's Office dog who ran away from her handler in Waldorf last week was returned Tuesday and is expected to resume full duty, authorities said.

Zoey, a 5 1/2 -year-old bloodhound, was picked up "some time ago" by a man who found her wandering the streets, said Sgt. Mario Ellis, a sheriff's office spokesman. That man, he said, contacted Zoey's handler Tuesday after he saw an Internet advertisement calling for her return.

On Aug. 5, Zoey slipped out of her collar while on a walk with her handler in the 4600 block of Taylor Court in Waldorf, Ellis said. The handler gave chase, he said, eventually losing sight of the dog in a wooded area near St. Paul's Drive and Piney Church Road.

Police searched for Zoey, trained as a search and rescue dog, for six days, tracking down several false leads, Ellis said. He said he could not recall another time when a police dog escaped.

Zoey, who has been with the sheriff's office for 3 1/2 years, was trained to search for people in distress and had most recently helped locate missing children and Alzheimer's patients who had wandered away from their homes, authorities said. The irony of the situation was not lost on sheriff's officials, who nonetheless called Zoey's disappearance "very serious."

"You treat those dogs as if they're members of the agency," Ellis said.

-- Matt Zapotosky

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