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K-9 Grizzly helps locate missing Alzheimer's patient in Ephrata

K-9 Grizzly and handler Deputy Dave De La Rosa found the man in a large hole about 100 yards from the home within minutes.

EPHRATA, Wash. – Grant County Sheriff’s K-9 Grizzly saved a life Wednesday morning.

Officials said deputies were called to 11000 block of Road A Northwest southeast of Ephrata around 3:30 a.m. The female resident said her 85-year-old husband, who has Alzheimer’s disease, was missing and may have left through the home's garage door.

K-9 Grizzly and handler Deputy Dave De La Rosa found the man in a large hole about 100 yards from the home within minutes, according to the release. Searchers initially could not find the man after trekking on foot and using a thermal imaging camera.

“That’s the great thing about Patrol K-9s. Patrol K-9s can be used to search for bad guys, and they can also be used to search for the lost and injured," Sheriff Tom Jones said. "It’s without any doubt that K-9 Grizzly saved this man’s life."

The man injured his ankle and was unable to walk. He was taken by ambulance to Columbia Basin Hospital for treatment of cold exposure and the ankle injury.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office has three patrol K-9 teams and a fourth recently enrolled in training. The new team is attending the Spokane Police K-9 training academy on Mar. 5.