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SOUTH OGDEN -- Utah the police dog was missing for nearly 24 hours, but he was found safe Monday night not too far from home.
The people who had him didn't realize an entire police force was looking for him until a few hours later.
Utah is training to become a narcotics dog and has only been with his handler for about three weeks. Sunday night the handler put Utah in his crate, left for a bit and when he returned Utah was gone.
"The dog escaped from the crate and was able to get out of his garage through a dog door and then able to get over a 6-foot vinyl fence," said Sgt. Curtis Salvesen with the Layton Police Department.
How he was able to do all of that is still a mystery, but Sgt. Salvesen says Belgian Malinois are a smart breed.
A family a couple of blocks away from the handler's home came across Utah and were worried he would be spooked by the fireworks Monday night, so they took him inside.
The shelters aren't open on the Fourth of July, so they called dispatch to report they had found the dog, and dispatchers were able to put together that the dog was their missing dog.
Police say Utah is in good shape and they're happy he's home.
While no one knows why Utah ran away in the first place, it's a good reminder during July celebrations to lock your dogs up during fireworks.