Public Safety

Amara is alive and well

Drug-detecting K-9 that went missing after crash found safe

Amara, the Belgian Malinois that went missing after a Wednesday crash near Ely, was found Thursday night and has been returned to her owners. (Submitted photo)
Amara, the Belgian Malinois that went missing after a Wednesday crash near Ely, was found Thursday night and has been returned to her owners. (Submitted photo)
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After more than 24 hours of searching, a dog trained in drug detection that went missing Wednesday after a crash has been found and returned to her owners.

The 3-year-old Belgian Malinois named Amara was found at about 10 p.m. Thursday running along Wright Brothers Boulevard near the Airport National Public Golf Course, a few miles from the crash that seriously injured her handler, Jesse Ozbun, 29, Shawnee Lines, 26, and Hunter Ozbun, 4, all of Marion.

“She was spotted by a man who was driving and thought he had seen her down the highway near a golf course,” Ron Sims, owner of Cedar Rapids-based All Events Security, said Friday. “So he turned his car around, pulled into the golf course, opened his car door and told her to get in, and she jumped right in.”

The man then notified the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, which in turn notified Sims, who employs Ozbun and Amara.

“I was so excited she had been found, I raced over there as fast as I could,” Sims said. “I just wanted to get my hands on her and get her to a vet and make sure she was OK.”

Aside from some injured paw pads and a few cuts and scrapes, Amara was in good shape and is now getting some rest and TLC, Sims said.

“Now her handler and her family can stop worrying about her and focus on getting better,” he said.

Amara was thrown from the SUV driven by Ozbun that was involved in a crash around 6 p.m. Wednesday near Ely and Seven Sisters roads.

According to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Richard Dane Jedlicka, 35, of West Branch, was driving a pickup north on Ely Road when he crossed the centerline and crashed head-on into the Ozbun SUV. Jedlicka was charged with operating while intoxicated.

Lines was taken by helicopter to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City with life-threatening injuries. Jesse and Hunter Ozbun were taken by ambulance to UIHC for treatment of serious injuries.

Sims said Lines’ condition still is “touch and go,” adding she suffered multiple broken bones and fractures.

“She’s going to have a long recovery ahead of her,” he said.

Ozbun and Hunter both broke a bone and suffered numerous cuts, Sims said.

Despite their injuries, “the family is so relieved to know Amara was found and is safe,” he said.

“They really want to thank everyone who showed up to help look for her and everyone who shared her story and kept an eye out for her,” he said. “It’s amazing how many people we had that reached out and wanted to help.”

Sims said more than 150 people showed up to help look for Amara on Thursday evening near the crash site.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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