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Missing K9 found at donut shop

VALLEY — Chambers County drug dog “Ice” was missing over the weekend, but thanks to the thoughtful actions of a woman from Prattville, Alabama and a worker at the Chattahoochee Humane Society’s animal shelter, the valuable Belgian Malinois is back with handler Sgt. Caleb Calhoun.

Drug dogs are valuable members of local law enforcement teams. Acquiring one and training the dog can cost $10,000 or more, but dogs like Ice quickly earn their keep both in terms of getting dangerous drugs off the street and forfeitures. A drug dog pays for itself in the short term.

“Sgt. Calhoun did everything he was supposed to do the day Ice and one of his personal dogs disappeared,” said Major T.J. Wood of the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office. “He got up Saturday morning to make some coffee and let the two dogs out into his backyard, which has a high fence surrounding it. He does that every morning, and the dogs have never gotten out before.”

They apparently found their way out through a gate that wasn’t locked.

“It was the gate where he brings in his lawnmower,” Wood said. “It’s one of those things where dogs will be dogs. They quickly found their way out. Sgt. Calhoun had hardly turned around before they were gone.”

Calhoun immediately notified the sheriff’s office, and a search for Ice and his canine friend began.

Deputies had no luck in finding him until contacted by the shelter on Monday morning. One of the workers there immediately noticed the stray that had been brought in as a drug dog and called local law enforcement agencies. It was a call the CCSO had been waiting for, kind of like an answered prayer.

“Ice had been taken to the shelter just before they closed on Saturday,” Wood said. “A young woman from Prattville spotted him outside Dunkin’ Donuts and took him to the local shelter. We are so grateful things worked out the way they did. Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t too far away from where Sgt. Calhoun lives.”

What about the other dog?

“Sgt. Calhoun has gotten him back, too,” Wood said.