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Police dog sniffs out lost toddler's home

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St. Paul Police Officer Patrick Murphy spotted a 3 year-old alone in red pajamas while patrolling the South Como neighborhood last week. He stopped to talk the boy who said he was lost, didn't know where his house was and then started crying.

So Murphy called in the police department's oldest serving K-9 officer – a German Shepherd named Sarik – for backup. “This is very rare that I would do this,” Murphy said to the Star Tribune. Usually, Sarik follows scent trials to find suspects and missing people, but this time he was going backwards. “We train the dog to go to a scent, not away from the scent,” he said.

According to KARE11, after catching the boy's scent, Sarik went North on one street and then down an alley, eventually arriving at a house with a toy dump truck in the yard. The boy's older sister answered the door.

He had wandered out of the house while she was sleeping and their mom was at a doctor's appointment.

Murphy said that it’s not uncommon for police or residents to find children who’ve left a home in St. Paul when relatives are sleeping. In this case the family doesn’t face criminal charges, reported the Pioneer Press.

Sarik's good deed made WCCO wonder - how strong really is a dog's sense of smell? 

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