A sharp-nosed police dog located a missing 11-year-old girl Monday who had climbed a tree near her home to avoid having to go to school.

The incident began Monday morning when the mother of the 11-year-old from Damariscotta found she wasn’t in the family car for a ride to school, Mark Latti, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said in a release.

The mother and family members notified the Damariscotta Police Department around 9 a.m. when they couldn’t locate the girl. Police and a K9 unit from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office searched, but were unable initially to find the girl.

The Maine Warden Service arrived to search at about 11:25 a.m. A plane flew over the area as well as a drone, Latti said.

Game warden Jake Voter and his dog, Koda, started searching the woods near the girl’s home around 12:25 p.m., and the dog soon started circling a pine tree and refused to leave. Voter didn’t see anything at first, but then looked up and spotted the girl on the backside of the tree, about 20 feet off the ground.

When the girl saw the dog, she asked its name and then started to climb down the tree. The girl was not harmed and was reunited with her family.

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