MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE: 5/24/2017, 12:30 P.M.
A local K-9 that's been missing since May 7 is finally reunited with his handler. And it was all made possible with some stealthy tracking, and of course, a few treats.
Over the past 4 days the Washington County Sheriff's Office went by with no reported sightings of Watson, their missing K-9, making authorities more concerned with reeling him in.
On Monday, May 22, a Washington County Humane Officer found fresh tracks from the bloodhound, and Watson was found Tuesday, May 23, around noon, in the Newport area.
Sgt. Keelan McLeish, Watson's handler, says Watson is in great health and ate as soon as he returned home, and the 4 year old bloodhound immediately took a well-deserved nap.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office now says they are looking to expand their K-9 crew to more than just Watson and Beauford.
"We are currently in the process of looking for a bomb dog that also will be a tracking dog,” said Sheriff Larry Mincks, Sr.
Sgt. McLeish, along with other officers who have been zoning in on the Newport area, brought out box traps Tuesday with Watson’s favorite treats inside.
The search for Watson did not cost the Washington County Sheriff’s Office any extra money because, as Sheriff Mincks says, “The bloodhound program is completely sponsored by Keelan McLeish and his father. He donates that dog and all the expenses associated with it."
Sgt. McLeish says they are going to take it day by day to see when Watson will get back to work.
Sgt. McLeish also wants to thank the community for their great efforts in finding Watson, and he was happy to feel how close the community truly is.
UPDATE: 5/11/17, 6:52 P.M.
Three days after K9 Watson went missing, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office is still looking for him.
K9 Watson is a four-year-old bloodhound, and he was last seen Thursday at 11 A.M., near Kerr Run Road.
Watson’s been missing since Sunday, after he was let out to play after a day of training.
Deputies say Watson is reddish brown in color and has a chain collar on his neck.
Members of the community and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office have been out searching for Watson all week, and they have an idea of where he is, but haven’t been able to find him yet.
Sgt. Keelan McLeish – Washington County Sheriff’s Office:
"We've had at least two spottings per day on Watson, starting on Monday we had two spots. And Tuesday, and we had two Wednesday, and up to this morning we had one at 11 o'clock. The primary location of where he seems to be staying, or concentrating his time, is between Newells Run and Middletown Road, which Middletown Road comes out of Newport in the Kerr Hallow area.”
The Washington County Sheriff’s wants to remind you, if you do see K9 Watson, call 911 and keep a close eye on him.
Watson is a trained police dog and very shy.
ORIGINAL STORY: 5/10/17, 4:18 P.M.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help to find a missing police dog.
The Sheriff's Office says, during a training exercise Sunday evening and Monday morning in the Newport area of Washington County, a police K9 named Watson ran into the woods and deputies could not find him.
If you've seen Watson or know where he is, call the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 740-376-7070.