Police Services Dog Arco and his handler Corporal Dean Muir are being credited with saving the life of a distraught female on Thursday.
Officers received a report of a woman in distress in the area of Boat Harbour Road in Cedar just before 4:30pm.
The 18-year old was threatening to harm herself after some setbacks in her personal life.
When the members arrived, they were told the female had run off into nearby woods and her whereabouts were unknown.
Arco quickly picked up her scent and lead Corporal Muir and Constable Natalie Cuvelle through mud filled ditches, up and down steep slopes, across multiple trails and mud soaked paths.
After approximately 40 minutes and covering well over 3 kms, the female was found hiding in extremely dense bush.
She was wearing only a tank top, tights and runners she was very scared, soaked with perspiration and had received several cuts and scrapes.
After much coaxing, Constable Cuvelle was able to convince the woman to come out of from her hiding spot.
“Given her location, temperatures in single digits, her overall condition and lack of appropriate clothing, if not found, it is highly unlikely she would have survived the night,” says Nanaimo RCMP Constable Gary O’Brien.
She was then led out and eventually turned over to another officer who transported her to local hospital for an assessment.
Arco, who retires next year after 6 years of police work, was rewarded with a huge biscuit.
During the long walk out of the bush, Arco even accompanied the female along the way and received some loving pats from her.