(Courtesy: Mason Miller)

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – An extremely rare championship-winning dog has gone missing in west St. Louis County.

A search is underway to find a beloved but endangered otterhound named Tito, who went missing the day his family arrived at their new home in town.

Tito’s breeders, Andrea and Jack McIlwaine, said they had just moved from Ohio and that their prize-winning pooch ran off less than 15 minutes after pulling in.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are fewer than 800 otterhounds left in the world, making them rarer than the black rhino or giant panda.

(Courtesy: Mason Miller)

Otterhounds are a large, rowdy dog breed, with males weighing well over 100 pounds and standing nearly 30 inches tall. This should make Tito easy to spot. However, they’re known for their sense of smell and can track animals through water over a three-day period, and have webbed feet and a double coat of fur, meaning Tito has the nose and endurance to cover large stretches easily while he’s lost.

If anyone spots Tito in the St. Louis area, you’re advised not to try and capture Tito, but instead, follow him calmly and contact Mason Miller at 859-475-8418.