Colt, a 2-year-old police dog with a cone around his head and a splint on his back left foot, was found Thursday afternoon after agencies from all over Miami-Dade helped Miami Beach police search for the dog.
Colt bolted out the front door of his trainer’s Cutler Bay around 2 a.m. home after returning from a training exercise. Yet even with a cone around his head and a splint on his leg, Colt wasn’t seen for almost 11 hours. He knows the area quite well and the expensive Belgian Malinois comes from a breed known for its superior intelligence.
Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said a City of Miami K-9 officer found Colt, “sitting on the front porch of a home in the shade. We were concerned he would run again. We showed him a toy and he came running into the vehicle. We reunited him with his handler (Officer Michael Angulo).”
As for how often trianing police dogs run, Rodriguez said it happens occasionally across agencies and other agencies pitch in to help.
“It dosn’t matter what training you have, a dog’s a dog,” he said.
Rodriguez said Colt has lived with Officer Angulo for a few months. He’s only a couple of weeks shy of completing his three-month training session. The home in Cutler Bay is near the corner of Southwest 213th Street and 92nd Avenue. Colt was found at a home near Southwest 227th and 90th Avenue.
Colt’s injury happened during a training session, Rodriguez said. He actually dislocated a toe. Then it was amputated. Rodriguez explained that a dog’s toe isn’t quite like a human’s. In Colt’s case, he said, it isn’t needed for balance, so he remained on course for police work despite the missing digit.
Colt was working late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning because police dogs are trained in all sorts of different environments, according to Rodriguez.
The police department adopted Colt from the Miami Beach K9 Knights, a nonprofit made up of residents and business leaders who purchase the expensive European-bred dogs, then donate them to the police. Malinois like Colt are among the most intelligent breed of dogs.
That makes it even more puzzling in trying to figure out why Colt ran away. Rodriguez said as far as he knows, Colt is not a runner.
The officer “just came in the house and let the dog loose. The door wasn’t closed all the way,” and Colt took off, Rodriguez said.