Police dog Alfie helps track down vulnerable woman hiding in the cold after she went missing from South Shields home

Alfie the police dog has been praised for helping to find a missing vulnerable woman who disappeared from home in just her nightclothes during the early hours.

The Belgian Malinois and his handler Pc Stephen Henry were called in to help their Northumbria Police colleagues when the force took a call in the early hours of Tuesday, July 13, reporting concerns the woman had left her house in South Shields.

The woman is non-verbal, deaf and left wearing only her night gown and slippers, leaving police with significant concerns for her welfare.

A major search operation was launched to locate her with witnesses reporting she had been seen near to Calf Close Burn in Jarrow.

Alfie, a 16-month-old Belgian Malinois, worked with handler Pc Stephen Henry to track down the missing woman after she was seen near Calf Close Burn in Jarrow. Images copyright Google/Northumbria Police.


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The 16-month-old dog led PC Henry into the deep undergrowth and within minutes found the woman hiding in the cold.

A spokesperson for the force said: “She was uninjured but was taken to hospital as a precaution where she will now receive the support she needs.

“The skill of our police dogs is incredible and Alfie helped us locate this woman far quicker than we would have with just officers on foot.


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“Those extra minutes or hours can be crucial when we are trying to preserve life and we have no doubt our incredible K9 and his handler did just that.

“We hope this intervention underlines the importance of our Dog Section and reassures you of the lengths we will go to in order to safeguard vulnerable people.

“Well done Alfie and Pc Henry – you have certainly both earned a treat and some rest after a busy night shift.”

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