Mthatha - Police in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape are desperately searching for a celebrated search and rescue dog which went missing shortly after rescuing a 55-year-old man who had gotten lost in a forest at Mahlubini locality in Sulenkama at the weekend.
The K9 member, named Olive, went missing on Sunday around 7pm after rescuing the man who went missing on Friday after getting wood at a nearby forest.
According to the police, Olive was allegedly chased by other dogs while members of the community and his handler Songezile Katikati was about to reach their vehicle.
Constable Katikati said: "Olive is my best friend and companion. He is humble and he cannot harm anyone as he is trained in rescuing drowned people, seeking missing people and seeking evidence on other crime scenes. I plead with anyone who sees him to not harm him but rather keep him and report to the police."
Katikati and Olive have been working together since 2012 and was awarded the "Best Rescuing Dog" in the Eastern Cape in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Olive is a German Shepherd dog, tan in colour with a black back and face. He also has a black leather belt with a clock around his neck.
Acting Cluster Commander Brigadier Nomawethu Makonza said: "Olive is our member that never disappointed us. When we send Constable Katikati and Olive to rescue someone we relax and stay assured that they'll bring that missing person back to his/her family. It is, therefore, disturbing news to our Cluster and other Clusters to hear that he is missing. Our members have since been out there searching for him."
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Olive was asked to contact Constable Songezile Katikati on 07273101556 or 0835303295.
Information can also be shared on t he SAPS Crime Stop 08600 10111 or Crime Line 32211.
African News Agency/ANA