LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Two teens are back in custody thanks in part to a Fort Myers Police K-9. His name is Thor, and overnight, he chased the teens and helped bring them down. The teens had escaped from Fort Myers Youth Academy, a court-ordered program.
"He's a 5 year old German Shephard."
Training translates into action in the field. "The dog is trained to bite and hold. And apprehend," said K-9 Officer Phillip Youngblood
Fort Myers police say Youngblood's canine Thor took down two escaped teens early Thursday morning, with the only weapon he has: his teeth. "These dogs are tools. These dogs are used in order to save people's lives. That's their job," explained Youngblood.
They spend hundreds of hours together every year training and at home. "They're not just our partners. they are basically part of the family," he said.
WINK News is learning searches and situations like this escape can be even more dangerous for the dog than an officer. "Our dogs go in first, to allow us to know where the dangers are," said Youngblood.
Earlier this year a runaway suspect nearly drowned a Lee County Sheriffs Canine named Triton.
Fort Myers' own canine Rosco was killed in a robbery shootout in 2010.
Thor wasn't hurt Thursday. According to police, the escaped teens suffered minor injuries from the takedown.
And while his bite is worse than his bark, it doesn't always have to end like this. Sometimes the look of the dog alone will make a potentially dangerous suspect think twice.
All of the department's dogs are shipped in from Germany. They can cost as much as $8,000 of your money.
The department has two new dogs about to come on the force, which means two others will retire.