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Fire marshal explains how K-9 vanished, located Monday evening

"Villy" disappeared from FM 476, 2146 in Atascosa County Friday morning

SAN ANTONIO – The search for "Villy," a missing K-9 from the Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office ended Monday evening.

Villy is an accelerant detection dog had been missing since Friday.

The fire marshal's office may be preparing to retire the Belgian Malinois/German shepherd mix soon due to health issues, but that did not slow the search. Villy is capable of sniffing out 14 different ignitable liquids at fire scenes.

"He is, with exercise, medication, he's doing very, very well to where I believe we can work him easily until we get another canine," Bexar County Fire Marshal Chris Lopez said.

The trained dog suffers from intestinal issues and genetic problems with both of his legs. The cost of surgery would be more than half the cost of purchasing a new K-9, according to Lopez. A neighbor told him she saw the dog walking away from his property Friday.

"I follow the tracks," Lopez described. "I get to where there's some vehicle tracks and guess what, no more Villy tracks. Somebody stopped and picked him up."

Dozens of tips have poured in from the public.

The dog will stay on the job until a replacement joins the Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office. Lopez said the department has applied for an accelerant detection dog from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Purchasing a new K-9 could cost anywhere between $10,000 to $14,000.