Jesup K-9s Go to South America - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/15/02

Jesup K-9s Go to South America

A parent's worst fear: a child going to a foreign country and then disappearing. That's exactly what happened to David Byrd-Felker, and one south Georgia company wants to help. WTOC went to Jesup to find out how Dogs South is helping the family find their son.

Zena the search and rescue dog is getting ready for what will be her most challenging journey. She and her handlers are flying to South America to search through the small Amazon town called Zamora.

"This is uncommon," said owner Angela Batten. "We do travel all over the southeast United States, but going out of the country is something we've never done before. Our job going to Ecuador will be a body recovery."

They're looking for the 21-year-old Byrd-Felker, an American college student who's been missing since July. Now it's up to Zena and a group of eight other K-9 teams to bring him home.

"What we do is assist law enforcement, emergency agencies, in locating lost and missing people," explained Batten.

Now they're being called to help the Ecuadorian government whose own K-9's are only trained for drug and bomb searches. Zena is trained for cadavers and live victims.

As Zena loads up to make the first leg of her two week journey to South America, it's her special training that might help solve this four-month-long mystery.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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