WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office is posting more than just “lost dog” signs for a police dog that went missing on Wednesday. Police say K9 Chico was last seen near Elmo Street in Florence, sometime before 10 a.m.
Chico, a Dutch Shepherd, broke out of his kennel during the severe thunderstorms and hasn’t been seen since. He should be wearing a brown leather collar and a silver-colored pinch collar. A command post has been set up at Florence Fire Department and deputies are in the area continuing to search.
The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter is keeping their eyes out for Chico. They’ve received 40 strays since storms started Monday, 10 of the pets have been claimed.
Misty Valenta, with the animal shelter, says when there is stormy weather, we should take precautions with our pets.
“We always advocate bringing your animal inside. And some animals need even a safer space, so kenneling inside an area, inside your garage or a room in your house.”
Deputies say Chico’s kennel was in a covered area outside his handler’s home when he escaped. Police have put up fliers around Florence, hoping someone will see the four-legged officer, and return him to his partner.
If you see Chico-who is trained to sniff out drugs-authorities emphasize, do NOT approach him. They say to call 911 immediately and let police know the dog’s location. Chico is trained to take down criminals, so the department is taking precaution.
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office has had Chico for two years. He’s one of six K9’s with the department.
The National Police Dog Foundation says training K9’s usually costs between $12,000-$15,000 and they typically live with their handlers.