K-9 Grizzly saves the life of a missing Alzheimer’s patient - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

K-9 Grizzly saves the life of a missing Alzheimer’s patient

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Deputy De La Rosa and K-9 Grizzly Deputy De La Rosa and K-9 Grizzly

EPHRATA, WA – Grant County Sheriff’s K-9 Grizzly is being credited with saving the life of a man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease who wandered away from his home overnight.

Deputies were called around 3:30 a.m. today to the 11000 block of Road A-Northwest just southeast of Ephrata. The woman at the home said her 85-year-old husband was missing and presumed to have left the house through the home’s garage door.

With outside temperatures around 5 degrees with the wind chill, additional resources were summoned from Ephrata Police, Fire District 13 and AMR ambulance to help search. Searchers combed the area on foot and used a thermal imaging camera but could not find the man.

K-9 Grizzly and handler Deputy Dave De La Rosa arrived and within minutes found the man about in a large hole about 100 yards from the home. The man had injured his ankle and was not able to walk. He was taken by ambulance to Columbia Basin Hospital in Ephrata for treatment of cold exposure and the ankle injury. It’s uncertain how long the man had been outside.

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

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office has three patrol K-9 teams, and just recently enrolled the fourth team into training. The new team, Deputy Nick Overland and K-9 Chewbacca, a German shepherd, are attending in the Spokane Police K-9 training academy starting March 5.