He began his day with an idea to rob a local store. As the owner of the store in Upper Mount Gravatt in Queensland, Australia opened his store at 7:00 am, the robber entered carrying a knife. The store owner then threw a full cup of coffee at his head and threatened the robber with a butcher’s knife that he grabbed from a knife block. The store owner then began to chase the would-be robber down surrounding streets while calling out to locals to call the police.
The fleeing robber tried to escape his pursuer by jumping the fence into a neighboring yard. Unfortunately, he chose the yard of Rocky, a 3-year veteran police dog who lives with his owner/handler Neil Smith. “He’s pretty territorial of his house and yard, and would have been defending me and the rest of the family,” Smith said.
Smith was in the shower when the suspect jumped the fence, but Rocky was out in the yard. The German Shepherd immediately began chasing the intruder around the neighborhood. He eventually cornered the suspect against a neighbor’s fence, where he was soon apprehended and handcuffed by the police. As the police headed to the police car with the suspect, Rocky jumped into the police car. “He’s been on holidays for a while, so he would have loved a bit of action,” explained Smith.
When Duncan was placed in the Placer shelter, his energy and focus caught the attention of shelter Executive Director Leilani Vierra. She and her staff concluded that his temperament might make him “difficult to manage in a typical household but might make him the perfect rescue dog.” The Search Dog Foundation agreed.
Officer Smith has worked with the dog squad for over 17 years and was on leave. Rocky has been working with Smith for three years. Smith describes Rocky as “one of the most excitable dogs he had trained.” The canine officer laughs when he thinks of the unlucky robber. “One house over and he would only have had to evade a small Shih Tzu!”