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A police dog working his first shift in the United Kingdom successfully located a missing woman and her child over the weekend, according to police in Wales.
The dog, a 2-year-old German Shepherd mix named Max, helped locate the woman and her 1-year-old child on the edge of a ravine after a search of a “vast area” covering a “significant distance,” Dyfed-Powys Police said in a press release.
The woman had not been seen or spoken to for two days before authorities began their search, according to police.
Police had a starting point when the woman’s car was found on a mountain road, Inspector Jonathan Rees-Jones said.
“This is where PD Max’s tracking skills really came into play,” Rees-Jones said. “Despite only recently becoming licensed, and on his first operational shift, he immediately commenced an open area search.”
The police department added: “With support from Brecon Mountain Rescue Team and an NPAS helicopter, along with advice from a search expert, additional units were deployed to assist in searching the area which included a small reservoir and woodland.”
After starting up the search around noon Saturday, Max and his handler, Police Constable Peter Lloyd, found the missing woman waving for help near a steep ravine on a mountainside, according to the press release.
The mother and child were found “safe, but cold” at around 1:30 p.m. and were in the area for a “significant” amount of time, police said.
“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.
Lloyd has been with the Dyfed-Powys Police dog section since February, police said. Max “will primarily be used for tracking and locating people in buildings and open air, tracing discarded property and tracking and detaining suspects,” according to police.
The duo worked their first shift together Saturday.
“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 a statement. “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.”