Hero dog and handler tell how they found missing man on freezing night
- Credit: Archant
A police dog handler has spoken of the moment his four-legged partner heroically saved a man from the brink of death on one of the coldest nights of the year.
Pc Chris Squirrell, with the help of PD Daley, tracked down a missing man who was suffering from hypothermia in a field in Belstead, just outside of Ipswich, overnight on Tuesday, January 22.
The man was discovered in a wooded area in the village, with temperatures plummeting to -2C and thick fog making visibility extremely poor.
Suffolk Constabulary feared the missing man would not make it through the night if he was not found.
Fortunately, Pc Squirrell and Daley were patrolling around the area and heard the man "crying out for help".
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His phone had run out of battery and he had collapsed on the ground.
Pc Squirrell said: "The man was vulnerable and registered as missing. We knew we had to find him.
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"Without Daley tracking him down, it could have been really serious.
"This instance was really high risk."
Daley, a seven-year-old German Shepherd, has been working with Pc Squirrell for around six years.
His handler explained that Daley can use various factors including footprints to track down missing people.
Pc Squirrell said: "Daley can smell humans from around 200 metres away, but he can track them from where they stood two to three hours ago."
Daley has developed a reputation locally for finding missing people, Pc Squirrell said, after finding someone on average once a month.
Pc Squirrell added: "He's very prolific. Every time we find someone it is so rewarding - particularly when they are vulnerable.
"I think it is as rewarding as finding a criminal.
"I feel extremely lucky to work with Daley. He's such a courageous and lovely dog.
"It's a team effort, but he's the talent in the team."