K9 Deputy finds woman with dementia lost in the woods!

On behalf of every Law Enforcement Officer, Firefighter, and EMT/Paramedic in the United States, the American First Responder Institute extends congratulations to Rescue K9 Lassie and her handler, Dave Smee of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team. 

A San Luis Obispo County Search and Rescue K-9 is getting credit for locating a lost Los Osos woman who has Dementia.  Felisa Lizada was found Tuesday afternoon in a creek bed in the Los Osos Oaks State Reserve.  “Coming around the corner with Lassie, and my partner Megan, it was just really exciting to see her there,” said Dave Smee, a 30-year volunteer with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team, describing the moment that his Collie Lassie found 62-year-old Lizada. It was a moment the duo had been training for, for the past four years.

Smee and Lassie set off Monday afternoon from Sunnyside Elementary School in Los Osos, and their search for Lizada continued for the next 24 hours.  “We could have missed her if we had been up the embankment without a dog encouraging us to go into the creek,” said Smee.  Lassie traced Lizada’s scent and led Search and Rescue volunteers through the thick brush off Los Osos Valley Road, between Lariat Drive and Clark Valley Road, to the creek below.

“She finds a person comes back to me, gives me a full-on body slam to let me know she’s found somebody, and takes me to that person,” said Smee.  Next crews hoisted the women to higher ground, and rushed her to the hospital.  “It went from the excitement of seeing her, to the concern of what can we do to take care of her,” explained Smee.

Now Lizada has Lassie, and dozens of Search and Rescue personnel to thank for bringing her to safety.
Doctors at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center said Wednesday Lizada is healing after suffering moderate injuries in a fall. They upgraded her condition to on Wednesday, after she spent the night in the Intensive Care Unit.  As for Lassie, she was treated to beef stew for dinner as a reward for her hard work in the Search and Rescue operation.

Please join with us in congratulating Rescue K9 Lassie and Dave Smee.

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If you could help a hero… would you? 


One Response to “K9 Deputy finds woman with dementia lost in the woods!”

  1. Elaine Bahen says:

    I hope I’d be able to help a hero

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