A land and sea search for a police patrol dog is under way after it ran away from its handler and went missing in Quarry Bay on Tuesday morning.
Dax the three-year-old Belgian shepherd was not leashed and was running in a confined area of the Hoi Yu Street waterfront when the incident happened shortly before 9am.
The area, which is about 200 metres away from the station, is surrounded by fencing but there is a hole in the fence on the coastline side, according to police.
“[Dax] is believed to have run out of the confined area through the hole,” a police source said.
A police launch has also been deployed after officers feared the dog might have fallen into sea.
At 1.30pm, the land and sea search was still ongoing, according to a police spokeswoman.
Dax’s handler – a senior constable – was off duty and had returned to North Point police station on Java Road to take the dog for a walk, according to police.
The constable is understood to be distressed at Dax’s disappearance and fears the dog may have drowned. He has been the dog’s handler for almost a year and a half.
The Belgian shepherd, also known as Malinois, is expected to replace the German shepherd as the main breed used by the force.
The Malinois is slightly smaller than the German shepherd and with an average life span of 13 years offers at least 10 years of active service.
They are loyal, intelligent and easy to train.
The police use springer spaniels and labradors to search for explosives and drugs because they have a better sense of smell.
Any sightings or relevant information about the case are urged to contact the nearest police station or call 999.