Happy ending: K9 officer finds missing special needs boy in Florida

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SANFORD, Fla. (CNN) - A missing boy with special needs is safe at home thanks to a four-legged officer.

Amber is a 2-year-old bloodhound, and she's already a top dog for the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

She tracked down 9-year-old Vincentio Spears after he wandered in the woods to play hide and seek on Saturday, December 20.

The woods were pretty dense, and the game quickly turned into panic for his family because they couldn't find him for about an hour.

Deputies came in with people on foot and in a helicopter.  Video from the air shows teams finding the boy.

"I pretty much broke down at first. I just kept hugging everybody," said Stephanie Spears, the boy's mother.


Amber, a  2-year-old bloodhound who works with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office in Florida

"She tracked for 1.5 miles with the GPS and it was like one hour where she came up [and found him]," said John Locklan, Amber's handler with the Sheriff's Office.

Once Amber tracked down Vincentio, deputies put him on a four-wheeler and drove him back home where his family and friends eagerly awaited. All the while, Amber stayed by the little boy's side.

"Just to watch her stay with him all after that, it was like you know, her prized possession, her buddy. She didn't want to lose him," said Lockland.

Little Vincentio received stickers and a fireman's hat for being so brave. His family is now looking forward to a Merry Christmas.

The boy suffered some minor cuts and a couple of ant bites while he was in the woods, but is otherwise okay.

-Reporting by Loren Korn

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