JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — A bloodhound with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was in the right place at the right time on Tuesday. “Jessie” and Deputy K. Fosler were in Wyoming on an unrelated call when they were called to help search for a missing child.
“It was nearly 90 degrees and low humidity in a cactus dense area, but that didn’t stop Jessie,” the sheriff’s office wrote.
Deputy Fosler and Jessie have been together for 6-and-a-half years. They’re practically inseparable.
“She likes to be on her own, she doesn’t like anybody near her patrol car. She’s her own thing,” said Fosler. “Jessie’s stubborn. She’s hairy and drooly.”
On Tuesday, the pair was on a call, assisting another agency in Wyoming, when they received a different call.
The 12-year-old girl had disappeared the night before. The duo jumped in to help.
“We had a good starting point, collected a scent from her bedroom and went where we last saw her on video,” said Fosler.
From there, Jessie was on a mission to find the girl.
“She still worked, she ran through the cactus and I was pulling them out of her nose and feet and lips as we were going,” said Fosler.
They eventually landed at a home not too far from where she disappeared. Jessie stopped in front of the home, then pulled Fosler around back.
“I was wondering why she wanted to go up to this house so bad and I thought it was because of the dog playing outside. I thought it was because kids were out there, but it was because this human was behind the house,” Fosler explained.
“…and then she pulled her handler, Deputy Fosler, back toward the direction they started. Deputy Fosler thought she had lost the scent,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “Turns out, she knew exactly where she was going.”
Jessie spotted the girl, hiding, near a large bush.
“She was hungry, dehydrated and sunburned after 20 hours out in the elements, but she was otherwise uninjured,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “We’re thankful this young girl is going to be OK, and we’re thankful Deputy Fosler and K9 Jessie were in Wyoming and able to respond to help another agency and this family.”
And she says finding that little human was serendipitous, and it changed her life.
“I’m also a mom and I have a child about that same age and she was alone and afraid all night long — you could tell she was happy somebody found her,” said Fosler. “It was awesome… Everything came out just perfect.”
“This is one of those stories we’re glad to share with the public because it goes to our core mission of Protect, Serve, Enforce,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “Have a safe weekend, JeffCo. We’ll be here if you need us.”
On Friday, the sheriff’s office shared a photo of Jessie getting some much-deserved rest.