11 May 2015

Police dog found after a week

7:10 am on 11 May 2015

The missing police dog, Thames, is on his way home with his handler after surviving a week alone in the bush.

The moment Constable Mike Wakefield and Thames are reunited in a bush clearing in the Tararua Forest Park.

The moment Constable Mike Wakefield and Thames are reunited in a bush clearing in the Tararua Forest Park. Photo: NZ Police

The four-year-old German Shepherd arrived at the entrance to Mount Holdsworth in the Tararua Ranges, with the police and land search and rescue team who found him at about 1pm today.

One of the search team was his handler, Constable Mike Wakefield, who resumed looking for the dog yesterday and said he was encouraged to find signs of the dog.

"We found some fresh signs, a big footprint in the mud, that can only be described as Thames' big boofy foot."

"I whistled and called but he ran off as if to say come this way before running back and giving me a big lick.

He wolfed down half of my salami which is a treat for him, I gave him a cuddle and we had a big play. I was just lost for words," said Mr Wakefield.

He said Thames was in good condition but would be checked out by a vet and both he and the dog would now have a few weeks break.

The dog and the rescue team had to tramp out of the ranges after windy conditions ruled out a helicopter airlift.

The head of the Wellington Police Dog section, Senior Sergeant Mark Davidson, said he could not believe the news when Thames' handler, Constable Wakefield, called to tell him the dog had been found.

"It's absolutely superb and it just goes to show you, never give up on humans and never give up on dogs either."

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