Retired K9 Ran Into Woods and Disappeared: Now Sheriff’s Office Is Asking for the Public’s Help


Lifestyle

 By Amanda Thomason  April 29, 2022 at 2:45pm

A community in Erie County, New York, has been put on alert after a retired K9 went missing Monday night.

Haso, an 8-year-old sable German shepherd, retired in 2020 when marijuana was legalized in New York. Before then, the K9 spent four glorious years with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office where he saved many lives, including tracking an elderly man with dementia and helping in many arrests.

“Haso has done a lot of good in his life, and he doesn’t even know how good he is,” Deputy Richard Lundberg, the dog’s former handler and current owner, told The Buffalo News.

“There’s a minimum of eight people who wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for him.”

Lundberg lives in Cattaraugus County, and his property backs up to hundreds of acres of woods full of smells and critters — any active dog’s dream paradise.

On Monday night, Lundberg let Haso out at 7:45 p.m. before going into the garage for a few minutes. When he came back out of the garage, Haso had disappeared.

It wasn’t an entirely unusual occurrence: The lively dog is known to chase chipmunks to the neighbor’s yard and sometimes goes on self-guided tours of the area — but he is always back by morning, ready for the most important meal of the day.

Lundberg became concerned when Haso did not show up the next morning. Reviewing security camera footage, he found that the dog had darted off after something and disappeared into the woods.

Because of the extensive wilderness, searching for Haso on foot would be an exercise in futility. Lundberg and others have searched near and far on ATVs, canvassing the forest, leaving articles of Lundberg’s clothing to try to attract Haso and setting up trail cameras.

Haso is microchipped, but he was not wearing a collar at the time, as Lundberg removes it when he’s in his kennel, so it doesn’t catch on anything.

As Lundberg continues searching for his four-legged companion, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office has notified locals of the missing dog.

“Help locate a missing retired ECSO K9,” they posted on Facebook. “On April 25, at approximately 8:15 p.m. Haso took off after an animal in the area of Ashford Hollow Road and Route 240 in the Town of Ashford.”

“Also, please use caution around Haso. He is a great dog, but remember he is a retired police dog.”

Lundberg has two major concerns: one, that Haso is so friendly he’d go along with a stranger, and two (every missing pet owner’s fear), that his dog is trapped or dead.

“My two chief concerns are that he’s stuck somewhere or deceased, or someone has him and doesn’t know who he is and what he is,” Lundberg said.

“This isn’t how his chapter is supposed to close.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.

Location

Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

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