YORKTOWN, Va. (WAVY) — A young K9 bloodhound at the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is getting praise for finding two little boys who went missing last week.

Deputies were called to Terrebonne Road on Monday, Oct. 30, after a 7-year-old and 9-year-old left home after dark.

Deputies weren’t having much luck in finding the boys, and that’s where K9 Sarge comes in.

“His only job is to track,” Deputy Nick Levindoski, Sarge’s handler, said. “Anything that we need to track a human for, he can do that. Deputies had searched the area initially for about 20-30 minutes, [and] couldn’t locate the children.”

Levindoski and Sarge were given items of the boys so that the bloodhound could pick up a scent after the brothers had run away from home.

“We tracked up to [the] first a pair of shoes that actually belonged to one of the children,” Levindoski said. “We then, tracked to a car that they had opened the doors to, and then tracked into the woods a little bit, came back out to another shoe that they had lost. Shortly after that, we located them. They had gotten into some gasoline in the backyard of one of the houses, and dumped it all out and they were covered in gas. It’s good that we were able to get to them and they were unharmed.”

A happy ending made possible by the training Sarge has received since being purchased by the Sheriff’s Office at nine weeks old. Sarge is the first K9 the Sheriff’s Office is training themselves.

“A lot of different factors go into a successful canine track. Time is a big thing. Some of the tracks we’re doing are 14-20 hours old,” Levindoski said.

Levindoski compared tracking a scent to squeezing baby powder in the air. When Sarge picks up a scent, he stays within its perimeter and will correct to where its the strongest, eventually finding the person or people he’s looking for.

Sarge is the first bloodhound for the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. He was purchased in January and celebrates his first birthday on Sunday, Nov. 12.