PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ava the search dog had a steak dinner Sunday night one day after possibly saving the life of a 2-year-old boy found facedown in brush behind an Oregon market.
Ava is a specially trained German shepherd trained to pick up any human scent. Ava and her handler, Becky Irving, were brought into service as Portland police looked for the toddler.
Around 6 a.m. Saturday, the boy’s mother told police she woke up and discovered her son was gone from the bed. A massive search began and Mountain Wave Search and Rescue — along with their K-9 unit — was brought in to help.
“All of a sudden (Ava) just started dragging me so I’m trying to keep up,” Irving told KOIN 6 News. “She whipped around the corner of the building into this blackberry pile and basically I think she tried to avoid (the toddler) … As she did that, I looked down and there he was.”
There were nails on the ground in the area of the blackberry bushes where the boy was found on NE 68th Avenue, about 2 blocks from the boy’s home. Irving thinks Ava saved his life.
“If it hadn’t been for her smelling him and dragging me into that area nobody would have found him,” she said.
The boy was placed into protective custody. A court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday to determine the next steps.