K-9 helps find missing hearing aid on school playground

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A police K-9 saved the day for a fifth grader who lost his hearing aid on the playground of Sauder Elementary School.

11-year-old Cael Ball has relied on assistance from a hearing aid during classes this school year.

“That's an important tool, just like glasses that anybody wears on a daily basis to help them see, we equate that with the hearing aid,” said Cael’s father, Sean Ball.

Cael lost the device during recess Friday after it fell out of his pocket.

“He said he put it in his pocket knowing he shouldn't have done that,” Ball said.

A search party of teachers and students searched the large playground for the hearing aid for more than an hour, but could not find it.

“The whole time we were out there, I kind of knew it was like looking for a needle in haystack because the hearing aid and the mulch that are out there are the same color,” said second grade teacher, Thomas Lawver.

He recalled a demonstration at the school by Jackson parent and Macedonia Police Officer Sean Hathaway and his K-9 partner Haro.

“It was a little personal for me because my son wears hearing aids, and I know the expense of what a hearing aid costs,” Lawver said. “It kind of donned on me that this parent's dog that does this for a living every day could probably find it a lot quicker than we could.”

Hathaway and Haro didn’t hesitate to help, scouring the playground Saturday. Haro found the $3,000 hearing aid within about ten minutes.

“We were utterly shocked and amazed at the end result how quickly it was found,” Ball said.

Hathaway said the find was particularly remarkable because Haro picked up the human scent on the hearing aid a full day after it was dropped, when he would typically be seeking out a scent within minutes or hours.

While Haro has uncovered plenty of evidence before, Hathaway said this was a first.

A Macedonia Police Facebook post about the remarkable find was liked more than 9,000 times.

Ball said his family is incredibly grateful.

“We're very grateful and very thankful they took their time out especially on a weekend,” he said, adding that his son has learned a big lesson. “Not many people do that, and we're very grateful that they did that for us.”