This may be the cutest story on the Internet.
The last time his parents saw him on Oct. 16, ten-year-old Kyle Camp was at their home in Hackleburg, Ala., watching TV. Sometime after 4:30 that afternoon, though, Kyle, who has Down syndrome, disappeared. After a frantic search for their child, the Camps reported him missing. The Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Hackleburg Police, all of the area’s fire departments and 150 volunteers combed the area for the boy throughout the night until 5 a.m. the following morning. A State Trooper helicopter also joined the search. But Kyle was nowhere to be found, NBC affiliate WAFF-TV reported.
The search ended around 9:30 a.m. — about 15 hours after it started — when a dog led one volunteer along a creek through thick brush, where he found Kyle nestled with four puppies. The child was wearing neither a jacket nor shoes, and he was wet, according to CBS News.
“He was with four little puppies, and the mother dog kept barking, and I just followed her, kept listening to her bark and finally run across him,” Jamie Swinney, the dog’s owner, told CBS.
Swinney, who has children of his own, said his first priority was to reunite Kyle with his father.
“When I found him I asked if he was alright and he said yeah, he said he just wanted to go home,” Swinney told WAFF-TV.
Following the reunion, Kyle was treated at a hospital in Hamilton for minor bruises and scrapes. Police believe the puppies kept the child warm throughout the night after he wandered away from home into the woods, NBC reported.
Chris Bailey, Kyle’s brother, told WAFF-TV he was grateful for the community effort in the search.
“I had people from work, as many people as I could get together.” Bailey said. “It was amazing how many people came together to look, because we couldn’t have gotten it all on our own. It’s just amazing the community is that close to each other.”
Canines have saved lives in numerous instances in the past. In March, a dog from a St. Petersburg, Fla. shelter saved a 17-year-old volunteer from an attack by a registered sexual offender. Less than a month later, the New York Post reported a Staten Island pit bull took a bullet — and survived — for his owner, who was the target of a burglar.