Rhea County bloodhound helps find missing man with Alzheimer's - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Rhea County bloodhound helps find missing man with Alzheimer's

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DUNLAP, TN (WRCB) -

A bloodhound is being credited with saving a man's life who was lost in the woods.

The family of 78-year-old Norman Hobbs reported him missing Wednesday. Hobbs suffers from Alzheimer's Disease and walked away from his Dunlap home.

Dunlap Police believed he was lost in thick, dense woods behind his house.

So, they called the Rhea County Sheriff's Department for help.

"That agency made the decision that nobody was getting in those woods until I got there and let Jesse do his job, and it was amazing," said Cpl. DeWayne Cox, Rhea County Sheriff's Office.

Jesse is a seven-year-old bloodhound. He's trained to track down bad guys on the run. 

But Jesse and his handlers had a different mission this time.
    
They were called to search a wooded area about 30 miles away to find a missing veteran.

"They estimated he was in the woods for over 12 hours," Cpl. Cox said.

Hobbs walked away from his home and police believed he didn't have much time left. Jesse picked up his scent and was off.

"We were crawling, we were picking him up over logs and trees and doing what we could do to get through there," Cox said.

Just 30 minutes after Jesse took over the search,

"Jesse stopped and gave me that alert that hey, he's here, he's close you know."

Jesse found him.

"I said a good prayer, I was hoping he was alive, the condition that he was there laying in," Cpl. Cox said.

Even though temperatures were well above freezing, Hobbs still suffered from hypothermia and dehydration. He is expected to be okay.
    
Both Dunlap Police and Rhea County deputies believe Jesse saved his life.

"Without Jesse this outcome would be different," Cpl. Cox said.

Cox said they are willing to help any agency that need's the help of a bloodhound. 

Dunlap Police said in a Facebook post, "Also assisting in the search were several officers of the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Department and EMA Director Winfred Smith who utilized the newly acquired drone for an aerial search."

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