By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

O’FALLON, Mo. — A Missouri police officer and her K-9 partner are being hailed as heroes after they helped find a missing teenager with special needs on their first assignment together.

O’Fallon police called for help Sunday night from the St. Charles County Police Department after they got a call about an autistic 13-year-old who was reported missing. Temperatures were expected to drop as the sun set and officers were worried that the teenager, who was reported missing before nightfall, would get hurt.

St. Charles County police Officer Courtney Spiess and her partner, K-9 Tank, answered the call just a day after the pair completed their training together, KSDK reported.

The pair found the teen in less than five minutes and brought him home, according to the news station.

“It’s so rewarding, and (Tank) was so happy to find him, and of course I was ecstatic,” Spiess told KSDK. “He absolutely loves going to work. As soon as I put his harness on him, he knows we’re going to be tracking a person and you can see his face change. He’s ready to go.”

Tank, a Hanoverian hound, has been specially trained to work  with Spiess to find narcotics, suspects and missing people, according to KSDK.

“He’s very special, a very special dog,” Spiess said.


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