Missing Mayes County K9 Deputy Max Found Dead

Monday, November 12th 2012, 1:37 pm
By: Dee Duren

The Mayes County Sheriff's Office said Monday evening they found a K9 officer, missing since Sunday afternoon, dead.

A Mayes County Sheriff's Deputy first noticed his drug dog, Max, was gone Sunday afternoon.

The 9-year-old black Labrador has been with the department for eight years.

"We don't know if he's been picked up by somebody or what at this point, but we really want to find him," said Mayes County Undersheriff Albert McKee, when they were searching for Max.

Monday evening, McKee told News On 6 that they had found Max and that he was dead. He did not say how the dog died or how or where they found him.

Mayes County Deputy Travis Fleming was Max's handler. He said he and his pal did their regular routine Sunday morning, after they got off work. Max ate, ran around the yard, then Fleming locked him in his kennel.

When Deputy Fleming came to check on Max, he noticed the latch was down and the gate was pushed up against it.

"It was a sad deal to me. I immediately came to this area. We looked through the night last night," McKee said.

About eight deputies searched a five mile radius from Fleming's house in Strang.

He trained two to three times a week and can sniff 200 times per minute.

"He's also very special to his handler. I mean, it's like a family member," McKee said.

McKee said Fleming and Max were inseparable. The backseat of Fleming's patrol car is specially made for the drug sniffing dog to ride in.

"I think it's just like losing one of your partners, because that's basically what he is. He works with his handler. Every hour he's out, the dog is out with him," McKee said.