Police Department, Public Safety

K9 “Blaze” helps locate missing six-year-old with special needs.

May 11, 2023

Our Police Service Dogs are trained in many specialties, one of which is to help find missing people. By using a personal item that the person has touched or worn, the dog’s nose can focus on that specific person’s smell and follow the path where the person traveled. This talent came into practice last month after a six-year-old boy with special needs walked away from his babysitter near a local park.

Officers responded and immediately began their search of the surrounding areas with the assistance of HARD Rangers, East Bay Regional Parks, Hayward Fire, a Hayward PD Drone, and our very own Hayward PD K9 Blaze.

Having just completed tracking school in the weeks prior, K9 Blaze led the search teams to the child’s location within minutes. The boy was found, uninjured, in a heavily wooded area along the Hayward Plunge Trail and was safely returned to his loved ones.

Thank you to all the agencies who assisted with this search. We are grateful for the positive ending to this scary situation, and for the keen nose on our K9 partner Blaze.