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Police Credit Dog With Saving Lost Girl’s Life

(Feb. 20) — A 3-year-old who went missing from her Arizona home Thursday was found alive Friday morning, after spending a night outside in near-freezing temperatures huddled next to her dog, Blue.

“She was able to stay warm with the dog. And it probably was one of things that saved her life. It was extremely cold out here,” Sgt. Jeff Newnum of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office told KPHO reporter, a CBS news affiliate in Phoenix. “God watched over her last night.”

Victoria Bensch vanished while playing outside with the family’s Queensland Heeler around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Search teams scoured the rocky terrain surrounding Victoria’s Cordes Lakes, Ariz., home, but as the night wore on, and temperatures dipped into the 30s, there was still no sign of her.

When the sun rose Friday morning, a rescue helicopter spotted movement below. It was Blue, hovering close to the missing girl, nearly half a mile from their home.

Even as medics approached, Blue kept Victoria, who was only wearing a T-shirt, pants and tennis shoes, safe.

“I think the dog was initially apprehensive of me. I was a little concerned he might bite me when I first walked up, but as I just walked right past the dog, the [animal] realized I was there to help,” medic Eric Tarr told KPHO. “You could see the dog’s expression almost turn to a smile. It came right up to the helicopter and jumped right in no problem at all.”

Blue flew in the copter with Victoria to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where she was treated for frostbite, according to The Associated Press.

Victoria’s family expressed their gratitude toward law enforcement and rescue officials for their role in saving the little girl.

Her father, Ernest Bensch, said, “It seems like the whole community came together to help find Victoria. All the manpower and hours out there, just working, were unbelievable.”

The girl’s aunt, Kim Rayfield, told KPHO, “I don’t even like animals and I hugged that dog so hard.”

Posted:  Just One More Pet

February 22, 2010 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | Leave a comment