February 3rd marks National Missing Persons Day, and we've got special guest GL Potts on our blog from Texas Bloodhound Trailing Dogs to recount one of his most memorable tails - the rescue of a Fort Worth woman by his trusty hound, Hogan. I met GL when his dogs helped us on a commercial photo shoot in August and was blessed to meet this hero.
"July 31, 2016 - it was a hot a humid day. One of those over the top kind of heat that graces Fort Worth, Texas around that time of year. At approximately 03:20 pm I received a call from the missing persons unit of the Fort Worth Police Department. It seems they had a case of an elderly woman who had gone missing from her home around 2:00 that very afternoon. It seems this missing person had been diagnosed with some type of dementia and would wander from her home from time to time. The temperature outside was approaching 104 degrees and the heat index even hotter. FWPD was requesting I bring a search dog in hopes of assisting them in the location of this missing women. I gathered items I would need for a search, loaded Hogan up in my vehicle and headed to the location. Hogan was an AKC registered bloodhound that I had worked with since he was six weeks old. He was approaching the age of 8 and at this point in his life we had worked several missing persons cases most with excellent results.
I arrived at the location around 4:00. At this point our missing lady had been gone for at least two hours and in this high heat it does not take long for bad things to happen. I met with the officer in charge, gathered a scent item from the home and prepared to start my work. Looking over the home I found the back yard area secured and the most logical way out would have been from the front yard. I looked up and down the street as we were in the heart of Fort Worth, just south of downtown and very near to I-35W, which is a very busy interest that would surely mess with any human scent that may still be in the area. I asked for assistance from the Fort Worth officers that were assigned to this case. I had one to follow me along and flank my position to keep us safe. I also had two officers in patrol units to assist us as we needed to block of intersections. Once we get Hogan started we do not want to interrupt his work as this could create a distraction that we may not overcome. I took Hogan to the front yard and put his harness on him. His head popped with interest as he knew this was it! It was time to work. Presenting the scent article to him I gave hid his start word. “Hunt,” I announced and off Hogan went.
He moved quickly with a lot of purpose and intent. First down one street and then turning up between houses. We popped out of an alley next to the I-35W service road. Hogan turn back up near a 7-11 store and proceeded to make his way under the interstate as he continued to move west. As we proceeded down the street one of the patrol units moved past us to keep traffic at bay as we worked down this residential street. Suddenly Hogan’s head popped and at that very time one of the patrol units announced over the radio that he spotted a women matching the description of our missing person. A quick check revealed that it was her! Rescuers had searched for over an hour with no luck in locating her. However once Hogan got started he worked just over 1/3 of a mile and found the missing woman in just over 10 minutes. Thanks to his efforts someone is alive and safe as results can always turn tragic at any time.
Hogan continued to serve the public on a number of search and rescue cases, but sadly passed away in September. In his life he found runaways, missing persons, and fugitives. His work assisted in the conviction of an armed bank robber, and he worked at many safety fairs as we would visit with school children about staying safe should they ever get lost. His memory will always be one of both love and service as he was not only my partner, he was my Pal!"
Hogan's memory lives on and GL continues to work with his other hounds - Journey and Rain - to track missing persons across Texas.