East Texas community unites to find missing K-9

BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KSLA) — A community in East Texas banded together last week to try to find a K-9 member of a search and rescue team. Well, that search is over and all is well.

After nearly seven days of searching for Solo, a K-9 with the Bowie County Search and Rescue Team, Paul Stratton found his dog Monday morning (June 14).

“Words can’t describe how I’m really feeling right now,” Stratton said.

Stratton says he was out of state on vacation and left his K-9 in the care of a private kennel when the animal escaped. Leaflets were posted throughout the area and many residents of the Liberty-Eylau community searched for days without success.

“Paul called me around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. We’ve been busy, we’ve been here ever since, day and night, spending hours looking for the dog,” said Steve LaCounte, one of the people who helped with the search.

As a trained search and rescue dog, Stratton decided to lure his dog to safety.

“The crate has his crate cover and perfume in it and I put a pair of my stinky three-day shorts in there and that did the trick,” Stratton said.

The dog was found in an area where volunteers had previously searched. A resident, Gary Jones, found the missing dog near the crate and locked the animal inside.

Solo was found by a volunteer on Monday, June 14, 2021 about a mile from the kennel he escaped from.(Paul Straton)

“Happy for everyone, happy he’s home, not going to be sick here on the road somewhere,” Jones said.

Stratton says he thought Solo was either dead or someone found him and wasn’t returning him.

Solo was found less than a mile from the kennel he escaped from.

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