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Houston County Sheriff's Office K-9 Chance, pictured before his retirement from the department on Oct. 1.

Contributed

The Houston County Sheriff’s Office is recalling Chance, the county’s former K-9 unit, from retirement.

After six years of service, the German shepherd stepped down Oct. 1, to be replaced by K-9 Ray. But tragedy struck last month when Ray was killed in a hit-and-run, leaving the county without a K-9 officer.

Sheriff Mark Inglett subsequently decided to recall Chance from retirement and put him back to work with his old handler Lt. Trace Erickson.

“My understanding is he wasn’t enjoying retirement anyway,” Inglett told the Houston County Board at its November meeting.

The sheriff said Chance would be back on the force “at least temporarily” until a new dog is found. Ray was off-duty near Lt. Erickson’s house when he was killed. No one has come forward to admit they hit Ray and there were no witnesses nearby to provide evidence, Inglett said.

“I couldn’t sleep at night if I had been the driver,” the sheriff noted.

Chance, who is nine-and-a-half years old, had served at the sheriff’s office since 2011 until his retirement and is trained in narcotics detection as well as to track suspects and missing persons.

“Chance has always been a phenomenal K9 and he still has the drive to do the job,” the sheriff saivd. “I’m just grateful that we have such a great dog to rely on in this difficult time.

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