Bristol County Sheriff’s Office K9 team with K9 “Robika” rescue elderly person with dementia who got lost in woods

It didn’t take long for Bristol County’s newest K9 team to make a difference in the community.

On Wednesday evening, Officer Filipe DaSilva and his partner, K9 Robika, tracked and located an elderly citizen with dementia who had wandered into and gotten lost in the woods. When located by Officer DaSilva, Robika and K9 Officer Ryan Isherwood, the senior citizen was reunited with their family safe and sound.

Officer DaSilva and Robika graduated from the K9 academy less than a week ago.


Bristol County Sheriff’s Office photo.

“Robika was amazing,” Officer DaSilva said of his partner. “We were in the woods and there were plenty of other scents around from other animals. He kept his nose down and tracked the lost individual until we were able to locate him.”

“Honestly, it was the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my time in the K9 division, to be able to get that person back to their family safely,” Officer Isherwood said. “We worked together and the dog was awesome.”

The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office received a request for assistance from Berkley Police around 6 p.m. Wednesday evening about a missing individual. Officers Isherwood and DaSilva arrived around 6:30 and immediately began to survey the area. Robika was deployed and followed the missing individual’s footprints from a residence to the entrance of the woods, where he picked up the scent.

Over the next 30 minutes, Robika tracked the scent with Officers DaSilva and Isherwood following behind. About 400 yards into the woods, Robika stopped tracking and sat down with his ears up, signaling the missing person was close by. Officer Isherwood called out and located the individual close by under some heavy brush and the team walked him out of the woods to safety.

Sgt. William Dillingham said last week that while Robika was training in the academy, he did extremely well focusing on one scent when there were other distractions around. Then on Robika’s first week after graduating, he was able to track the missing individual through the wooded area that had many other animal odors.

“Hats off to Sgt. Dillingham for putting his heart and soul into the academy as a trainer,” BCSO K9 Capt. Paul Douglas said. “These guys were so happy they were able to help get that individual home safely. I couldn’t be more proud of Filipe, Ryan and the K9 unit as a whole. What an amazing team we have here in Bristol County.”

The BCSO K9 team is available to help law enforcement agencies across Bristol County and beyond 24 hours a day, seven days a week with specialties including tracking missing persons, apprehending suspects, and detecting narcotics, electronics, firearms and explosives. The team partners and trains with officers from Fall River, New Bedford, and Somerset Police Departments.

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