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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Press Release
December 21, 2011
For More Information
Contact: Press Office
(850) 488-0420

Sumter CI K-9 Helps Save 85-Year-Old Man's Life

On December 15, 2011, at approximately 6:00 A.M., Sumter CI K-9 Sergeant Dennis Barefield was notified that the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office was in need of his help.

On the evening of December 14th, an elderly gentleman had ventured into a wooded area on his property on foot to do some hunting. When he had not returned after darkness the Sheriff’s Office was called. Along with Officer Kenneth Ellingham and K-9 Cooper, Sergeant Barefield responded to the rural area of Sumter County where the man was last seen. About 14 hours after the man entered the woods, K-9 Cooper picked up his track. It took another hour to find the man. He was lying on the ground, but alive and well.

Afterward, while speaking to the press, the man's son commented, “Those two dog boys gave my dad the best Christmas gift ever…his life.”

We at Sumter Correctional Institution are very proud of our “Dog Boys"!

Two of our favorite "Dog Boys," Sumter CI Sgt. Barefield and CO Ellingham with K-9 Cooper, who obviously adores them too.
Two of our favorite "Dog Boys," Sumter CI Sgt. Barefield and CO Ellingham with K-9 Cooper, who obviously adores them too.