DELTA COUNTY, MI – An abused shelter dog is hailed as a hero for finding a naked 3-year-old girl, who was curled up and shivering in a ditch near the dog’s new home, the shelter said.
An owner of the dog found the girl, wrapped her in a sweatshirt and rushed her to his home to warm up.
“Thanks to Peanut, a little girl’s life was saved today,” a woman wrote to Delta Animal Shelter, which shared the story on its Facebook page.
The girl was rescued around 11:15 a.m. Friday, March 17, near Rapid River in the Upper Peninsula’s Delta County.
The woman, who wasn’t identified, said that her dog “started going crazy at our house. She was running up and down the stairs, barking and yelping.”
The dog then went into the garage, where the woman’s husband was working on a project. The dog alerted him that it wanted to go outside. The husband had heard the dog running around but couldn’t figure out why.
Young, naked girl found lying in ditch in Upper Peninsula
“He let her outside and she went barreling into the field behind our house at full speed,” she wrote.
“My husband followed her and to his surprise, he found a naked, shivering, 3 year old girl curled up in a ball barely alive.”
She said he covered her with his sweatshirt and brought her inside. He called 911.
“The little girl was barely hanging on for her life. By the time the ambulance and police arrived, the little girl could only say one thing – ‘doggie,'” she wrote.
She said that the dog has been a blessing to her family.
“As you know, her background was so heartbreaking and we are so happy that we were able to take her into our home and give her the love and the family she deserves,” the woman said.
The dog still has a sense of its past life, though.
Once named Petunia, the dog was brought to the shelter last April with two broken legs, broken ribs and a stomach full of carpet.
The former owner was recently convicted of animal abuse, the shelter said.
“Petunia has a great new home with a wonderful family….and this formerly abused dog has now Saved the life of a little girl,” the shelter wrote.
The shelter was not releasing the name of the new owner, a worker said.
Meanwhile, Delta County sheriff’s deputies, who found the girl’s parents after going door-to-door, described the home as “unsafe and unsanitary.”
Police contact Child Protective Services workers who took custody of the girl and another young girl in the home.
Police said the temperature was around freezing at the time the girl was found.
Police have referred reports to prosecutors.