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UPDATE: Missing police dog found

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Wood County police K9 Toro
Deputy Joe Zurfluh and K9 "Toro" from the Wood County Sheriff's Department
Wood County Sheriff's Department Lt. Shawn Becker coordinating search for missing K9 officer "Toro" 3/4/13
Wood County police K9 Toro

PLOVER, WI (WSAU) -  Toro has been found.

The Wood County sheriffs department says their missing police dog was found around 9:30 Tuesday morning. Details of the recovery have not been made public. More information is expected this afternoon.

Lt. Shawn Becker from the Wood County Sheriff’s Department said yesterday that searchers had been at the scene west of Plover, and initially found no signs of the german shepherd named Toro. "We’ve got the Spirit helicopter helping us out from the air, several snowmobiles are out helping, and a lot of ground units as well.”

Becker says Toro went into the woods during an assist Sunday night at a Highway 54 traffic stop. “Deputy Joe Zurfluh was working at the time with his K9 unit Toro. Portage County didn’t have a K9 unit available, so we sent him over here. They were doing a search on the vehicle, probably for drugs, and during that search the dog did get away from Deputy Zurfluh.”

The dog disappeared in an area between Highway 54 and the Wisconsin River that is mostly woods, fields, and cranberry bogs. There are some residences along the river, but few houses between there and the highway.

Becker is not sure what distracted the police dog, but did say it’s highly unusual. “He’s an animal, so it’s hard to say, but we’re going to guess it’s probably another animal that was in the area, got his attention, and he ran towards it.”

Searchers were worried he may have the leash hung up on something in the woods. The dog may have gone without food and water for nearly a day-and-a-half.

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