MARRERO, La. -- Two police dogs spent Tuesday on the loose in the Bent Tree area of Marrero .
According to the Louisiana State Police, Bruno and Luke, both Belgian Malinois, escaped from their handlers’ backyard kennel.
Investigators believe someone intentionally let the dogs out after the handler left for an all-day training session in Baton Rouge.
“We do believe that somebody pushed the gate open from the outside of the fence. There were locking mechanisms in place to hold that fence to where you are only able to open it from inside of the backyard,” said Louisiana State Police Trooper Melissa Matey.
Bruno wandered over to C.T. Janet Elementary School several blocks from the handlers' home. A teacher there rescued the dog and brought it to the PAWS shelter in Belle Chasse because it’s a no-kill shelter.
“She showed up here with some donations and said please, please take this dog, it’s really sweet,” said Denise Manger, director of the PAWS shelter. “She said she opened her car door and the dog jumped right in. I went outside to scan it and it didn’t have a microchip, but I said this dog is really well behaved.”
The other dog, Luke, ended up at the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter on the West Bank on Ames Boulevard. Both were reunited with their handler Tuesday night.
“It was a very frantic search,” Matey said. “This is part of our family. They are part of our family. They are troopers and they wear badges and we care deeply for them.”
Manger said, “Many things could have happened. The dog could have gotten hit by a car, someone could have stolen it. Getting dogs reunited, the best way to do that is through microchipping.”
The older dog Bruno did not have a microchip and will soon retire from service.
The Mandeville Police Department just donated Luke to Louisiana State Police and is now microchipped and good to go.