WHERE’S REX? Dunn County deputies search for missing K-9

Dunn County amassed a widespread search for its only K-9 following its disappearance March 30.

Rex, a 3-year-old male, purebred yellow Labrador Retriever, served the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit as its only drug-sniffing dog.
Rex, a 3-year-old male, purebred yellow Labrador Retriever, served the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit as its only drug-sniffing dog.

By BRYCE MARTIN

Herald Editor

Posted April 12, 2013

MANNING — Dunn County amassed a widespread search for its only K-9 following its disappearance March 30.

Rex, a 3-year-old male, purebred yellow Labrador Retriever, served the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit as its only drug-sniffing dog.

Chief Deputy Matt Hegstad, who temporarily is leading the department after Sheriff Don Rockvoy’s resignation last month, said the department currently has no leads on Rex’s whereabouts.

Details of how Rex went missing were not disclosed.

“We’ve contacted other departments that have K-9s and if we need to use K-9s we can just contact them,” Hegstad said.

Rex does not pose a danger to the community, so Hegstad advised that if anyone sees the dog, to immediately call the department.

“We’re still looking for him; we hope to find him,” he said.

Thus far, Rex’s disappearance isn’t affecting the department, besides for those who had a relationship with the canine.

The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department added Rex to its force in October. Working under the guidance of Deputy Travis Carlson, Rex headed up Dunn County’s first narcotics detection unit.

Rex trained to be a drug-sniffing dog since he was just a puppy. After completing his initial training at the Rocky Mountain Canine Academy in Black Hawk, Colo., Rex earned his National Police Canine Association (NPCA) certification as an official K-9 dog.

In order to maintain the certification, Rex was required to train a certain amount of hours every week, which kept both he and Carlson incredibly busy.

“We train at least an hour a day,” Carlson told the Herald in October. “I hide drugs in various places and he has to find them.”

As far as partners go, Rex and Carlson seemed to make the perfect pair.

“We’re both extremely gung-ho,” he said. “Neither of us can stand to sit still.”

In fact, it was the frenetic pace and increased crime activity in the Bakken region that enticed Travis to come west.

Former Dunn County Sheriff Don Rockvoy presented Carlson with the opportunity of starting a drug detection unit in the county in August.

“It’s been an amazing experience so far,” Carlson said of the job in October. “You stay really busy out here and it lets me stay proactive.”

Rex also was proactive – he was used twice during traffic stops and completed a search through classrooms and lockers at Killdeer Public School.

According to Carlson, Rex was doing an amazing job.

“I just really admire his energy. He will search a building or vehicle until his tongue is hanging out to the ground and he’s exhausted. He just wants to do a good job,” Carlson said.

If Rex is spotted, please call the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department at (701) 573-4449.

Contact Bryce Martin at bmartin@countrymedia.net.


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