There were tears flooding his eyes and a great relief for this police officer, after he finally reunites with his K9 partner. The faithful dog went missing during a South African Police Service rescue mission and his handler was devastated, ever since. But after several days of searching, the dog has been found alive and the officer could not have been any happier!
While on a rescue mission with her handler Constable Songezile Katikati, the police dog, Olive, went missing. The two were trying to track dog a missing person in a dense forest in the Sulenkama district, South Africa. Fortunately, the skilful dog found the man – who got lost in forest for nearly two days – but what should have a successful quickly turned into a nightmare for both the heroic dog and her handler.
Just as the pair was heading to their vehicle, a pack of dogs chased off Olive. She got scared and since then she was nowhere to be found. Constable and his loyal comrade have been partners for many years, so he was devastated.
“Olive is my best friend and companion,” the heartbroken officer wrote on Facebook. “She is humble and she cannot harm anyone as she is trained in rescuing drowned people, seeking missing people and seeking evidence on other crime scenes. I plead with anyone who sees her to not harm her but rather keep her and report to the police.”
The K9 wasn’t just a great friend for the officer, but she was also a great rescue dog. She even won the title of the best rescue dog in the region for several years in a row. Constable and Olive shared an incredible bond and the rest of the officers knew they can always rely on them.
“Olive is our member that never disappointed us,” commander Brigadier Nomawethu Makonza said. “When we send Constable Katikati and Olive to rescue someone, we relax and stay assured that they’ll bring that missing person back to his/her family.”
Fortunately after three long days and some tireless searching efforts, Olive has been found. Even wasn’t an easy rescue though, mainly due to the rough mountain terrain. Turns out that Olive got stuck in some bushes, maybe while she was seeking shelter.
“Olive was spotted underneath a low cliff in thick bushes by members of the search group,” spokesperson Captain Dineo Koena said. “The dog was stuck there and could not get out. The members then assisted her by getting through some bushes. She was free from injuries and still full of energy.”
Everyone was extremely happy their canine comrade was found alive, but the moment turned to be overwhelming for officer Katikati. When realizing he’s holding his loyal partner into his arms, once again, the officer couldn’t hold his tears. He admitted that the last couple of days have been so nerve-racking and losing his loyal friend would have been too much.
“I couldn’t sleep that night,” officer Katikati shared with News24. “The bond I have with that dog…Losing this one felt like losing a child to me. I couldn’t hold back the tears when we found her. All that kept me alive over the last few days was the support I’d received from my colleagues and the community.”