Like the sheriff said, "we don't deserve dogs."
A family from Florida panicked after their three-year-old boy went missing from their home on Wednesday. Marshal was wearing only his diaper when he went missing, but what worried his family the most was the fact that he couldn't speak as he was autistic. As worried as they were, they were comforted, to an extent, by the fact that their two loyal companions, Nala and Buckwheat were with him. “We were panicked,” Marshal’s aunt Kayla Stewart told WJHG/WECP, adding that “all sorts of worst-case scenarios [were] running through their heads.” Everyone began looking for the toddler. The Sheriff's office even posted on Facebook to seek help from others.
They posted: WCSO SEARCHING FOR MISSING THREE-YEAR-OLD BOY IN PONCE DE LEON. Walton County Sheriff's Office is in the area of Morrison Springs Road in Ponce De Leon searching for a missing 3-year-old boy with autism. The child was last seen wearing only a diaper. There was approximately an hour time gap between when the child was last seen and when our agency was called. Walton Correctional Institution has been asked to bring their K9 Teams to assist. If you locate this child please notify the Walton County Sheriff's Office by calling (850)-892-8111 or call 911. They later updated that the boy had been found.
“Our expectations going into a search of that magnitude are always to get as many agency members on the ground as possible to aid in the search,” Corey Dobridnia, the Public Information Officer at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, told Bored Panda. “Minutes are precious when it comes to the search of a child.” That afternoon, neighbor Carol Shelton saw the toddler a mile away from his home. He was safe and that is all because Nala and Buckwheat were such good babies, protecting their family through it all. “[His] dogs were right there with him,” the neighbor recalled. “[We’re] thankful that the pups kind of guided him along, I guess they kept him safe.”
Dobridnia added that they were grateful to have reunited the family. “Marshal was in good spirits when found. A little dirty from the walk through the woods, but unharmed and happy,” Dobridnia added. “Dogs are loyal creatures. I feel like they probably knew to stay with him when they saw he was alone. Their instincts kicked in. They stayed with the boy and watched over him until he was located.” Marshal's family was more than happy to find their boy. They were also very proud of their canine family members. “They’re doing their job,” the boy’s mom said. The police department shared a heartwarming picture of the toddler, rather dirty, still in his diapers, but happy.
A safe return home. The dog was found still with the child. ♥️ Scene cleared. Amy Noel Chavies Ellington commented: So grateful he was found safe with his doggy!! Thank you WCSO and K9'!! It was wrong of me to make a comment as I did. I'm ashamed becaused I was reading so fast and didn't see "autistic". Ive worked with many children who are autistic. I deeply apologize from the bottom of my heart! My apologies to the parents and family. Much love to you all.. Shelly Arcand Myers added: Thank you! I just want to say y’all are amazing. I’ve lived all over the south, Savannah, Athens, Oxford, Memphis and New Orleans. I’ve never felt more protected and informed by any other agency around. Y’all are the best. Keep up the great work and thank you for reaching out so well to the community.