According to Bangor Daily News, the girl ran away from her home on Whispering Pines Lane on August 28, 2021, and the family called 911 when they were unable to locate her.
The search involved the “Gorham Police Department, Maine Warden Service and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office” and even a warden service plane. However, it was Luna’s powerful nose that proved to be the breakthrough the search needed.
“Warden Michael Latti and his trained warden service dog Luna began to search in the woods behind the house at 4:43 p.m,” the report stated. “Luna found the girl’s scent about 10 minutes later and led Latti to the missing child, who was wandering around in the thick woods.”
The girl had minor “cuts and scratches” from her journey in the woods, but didn’t require medical attention. “Latti and Luna walked the girl back to her house and reunited her with her family,” the report concluded.
Who Is Luna, & How Was She Trained?
Luna and Warden Latti are members of the Maine Warden Service K9 team. They are one of several pairs of warden handlers and K9s involved in the team. The dogs work throughout the state of Maine and beyond the state’s borders.
All of the K9s must complete a 14-week course before earning certification with the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. After that, they must continually pass tests to keep their certification.
The dogs train to detect evidence, track and find people who may be lost, and sniff out human remains.
What motivates Luna the black Labrador Retriever to stay on task? Well, it’s her favorite toy, of course! Luna loves her tennis ball with a rope attached to it. Clearly, this good girl deserves all the games of fetch and tug that she wants!
While Luna’s nose is very impressive, search and rescue aren’t the only jobs dogs can do with their sniffers. Dogs have trained to do everything from protecting artwork, to uncovering artifacts, to wildlife conservation, to finding beg bugs, and even to sniffing out valuable mushrooms, all with their noses.
You can read more about the unusual jobs dogs can do with their noses here!
Are you happy that Luna was able to bring the girl home? Do you think your own dog could do search and rescue work? Then let us know in the comments below!