FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — The Connecticut State Police issued a long thank you list after K9 Officer Texas was found safe Friday — about 36 hours and 6 miles from where he accidentally broke free from his handler while he was doing his job of searching for a missing autistic man in Danbury.
Texas, a 3-year-old bloodhound, was found with his leash tangled in a fence on Limestone Road in Ridgefield at about 10:20 a.m. Friday. His rescuer was Jeff Kehlenbach, an off-duty special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, state police said.
Kehlenbach found Texas stuck in the front yard of a Ridgefield house (no one was home) about 6 miles from where he became separated from his partner, and best friend, Trooper First Class Ed Anuszewski, state police said.
After his return, K9 Texas was given water, extra special treats and lots of hugs, state police said.
Laura Stabell of Ridgefield spotted the pair and gave them a ride back to the command center at Wooster Mountain shooting range on Sugar Hollow Road. As Stabell said, “I found the guy that found the dog!”
Before heading home, K9 Texas was given a clean bill of health by Dr. Brian Laubstein at Beacon Valley Animal Hospital in Naugatuck.
K9 Texas had gone missing Wednesday night during a search of the woods in Danbury near Wooster Mountain for a missing autistic man. The man was found safe, but K9 Texas slipped away from Anuszewski during the search. Anuszewski lost his footing while they negotiated steep terrain and lost the leash, police said.
At that time, K9 Texas was pulling strongly up the slope and continued tracking up the ledge, police said.
"To our law enforcement, fire and EMS partners, thank you for not only showing up on-duty, but volunteering your time off-duty, too," state police said.
State Police also thanked Kehlenbach "for canceling his trip and returning to Connecticut to volunteer to help search for K9 Texas."
There were many volunteers — on foot, mountain bike, ATV and horseback, certified DRONE operators, those that offered assistance and those that donated food and coffee, state police said.
"So many Nutmeggers stepped up and offered to help along with volunteers from New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and several other states," state police said.
Here’s a list of some of the agencies that stepped up to lend a hand, with over 100 volunteers: New London PD, New York State Police, New York Environmental Conservation Police, Fairfield PD, on-duty and off-duty Connecticut State Troopers, CSP Trooper One helicopter, federal agency helicopter, New York State Police Aviation Unit, Danbury PD, Danbury FD, Ridgefield PD, Ridgefield Animal Control, Nextdoor App, CT Department of Correction, Danbury Hospital, Danbury Police Explorers, Danbury Elks, CT DEEP, Enfield PD, Danbury Volunteer FD, Clinton PD, Meriden PD, FBI-Boston, Centennial Helicopters, Westchester County Police Aviation Unit, Metro-North Police, Ridgefield FD, Governor’s Horse Guard 2nd Company, Department of Homeland Security, Hartford PD, New Britain PD and Danbury Airport Air Traffic Controllers.
A federal helicopter with advanced sensing technologies flew overheard downlinking thermal images to the command post, including images of deer, rabbits, searchers, and a very large bear taking a drink off Starrs Plain Road, the Danbury Fire Department said.
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