A two-and-a-half-year-old boy was missing for more than 13 hours with his dog before he was found in the bushland of Mildura, Australia.
Dante Berry was found in the morning with Dasher, the family's German Shepherd Dog. By the time he was located he had braved a thunder and rain storm overnight and was around 1.85 miles (3 km) from home. Dante had last been seen playing with Dante the night before. Around 100 people, including rescue personnel, searched for the boy overnight.
Police found a discarded diaper found with paw prints on it at 8:30 in the morning. It was their first clue as to the boy's whereabouts. They believe Dante removed his diaper when he was a mile (2km) away from family home and into the state forest. The police were about to turn back from the dirt trail when they heard a child crying.
"The last time we saw footprints was some way back but we asked ourselves: what if we just go around the next corner?" Sen-Constable Rigby said. As they rounded the corner, Dasher came bounding out and lead them directly to Dante. The toddler was in relatively good condition, although pretty dirty. The officer said that foot and paw prints revealed that the pair had walked side by side the whole time.
As soon as Dante was back in the arms of his mother, Bianca Chapman, she took him to hospital where he was treated for mild dehydration and mild hypothermia. Dante's grandfather gave Dasher a big hug and thanked everyone in the community for their help.
The family later released a statement: "We would like to express our thanks to the police, SES, CFA, members of the community and everyone involved in the search for Dante. We are extremely relieved that he has been located safe and appears to be happy." They added, "We were happy, but not surprised, to learn that his faithful dog, Dasher, stayed by his side and was also found safe and well."
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