Florida Sheriff’s K9 Officer, Mercy, Tracks Down and Saves Young Girl in Tropical Storm Elsa

by Chris Haney

On Tuesday night, a young Florida girl went missing during Tropical Storm Elsa, but was reunited with her family because of the heroics of a sheriff’s canine.

Last night in Lee County, Florida, the unnamed 12-year-old girl got separated from her family in the storm. According to the local sheriff’s department, the incident occurred in Lee County. Her parents contacted the authorities and Sheriff Carmine Marceno sent out the division’s ReUnite program.

The program is a search and rescue operation used when people are deemed at risk. As part of the operation, the unit deployed a K-9 officer named Mercy.

According to the Fort Meyers News-Press, Mercy graduated one year ago this month. The scent-discriminate female bloodhound completed her police training with her human partner in July 2020.

Tropical Storm Elsa’s inclement weather made it more difficult for Mercy to find the girl. However, the bloodhound persevered and fought through the poor conditions as she tracked the girl down. Mercy latched on to her scent and tracked the girl “for more than half a mile through thick woods,” according to the sheriff’s department.

“Thankfully, Mercy found her and brought her safely back home to her family,” the department added.

Mercy’s impeccable nose helped reunite the 12-year-old girl with her family. If it wasn’t for the dog’s tracking abilities, we may not have such a feel-good story with a happy ending.

Shark Bite Lands Young Florida Boy in the Hospital on Fourth of July

Tropical Storm Elsa isn’t the only thing Floridians are having to worry about this past week. On July 4, as many Florida residents enjoyed their Independence Day celebrations, one young boy ended up in the hospital because of a shark bite.

The shark bit an 8-year-old boy who lives in Miami and was on vacation over the holiday. He and his family were visiting Florida’s Ponce Inlet beaches in Volusia County. According to a report from local news station WKMG, the shark that attacked the child was about two to three feet long. While the shark may not have been huge, its bite is still capable of inflicting plenty of damage, especially to a child.

An article from the Orlando Sentinel said the attack on the boy happened around 4 p.m. local time. The child sustained a shark bite to his right leg. Thankfully it’s the only injury he suffered in the attack before lifeguards at the scene stepped in.

Subsequently, Ponce Inlet Fire Rescue transported the young boy to the Halifax Health Medical Center. The Miami, Florida native is reportedly recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.

The shark attack in the area isn’t exactly uncommon. An average of 8 to 10 shark bites occur in Florida annually, according to Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue reports. Usually, the attacks are not life-threatening. But as of last year, officials have named Volusia County as “the shark bite capital of the world.”