A pit bull is being hailed a hero after staying by the side of a 2-year-old girl for nearly two days, after she went missing.
Last Thursday, a frantic search was underway for Charlee Campbell after a door was found open at her Kentucky home, and she along with her dog Penny were no where to be found.
After local law enforcement, the FBI, family and volunteers scoured the densely wooded area for nearly two days, the pair was finally discovered.
Charlee’s grandma, Beth Campbell, says Penny came back to her home on Friday evening. Shortly, after Charlee was found outside a neighbor’s home, when she walked up to the porch.
“The homeowners realized who she was and contacted authorities,” law enforcement posted on Facebook. “She has no obvious serious injuries but did appear dehydrated and had some tick bites.”
She was taken to the hospital to be evaluated.
I can’t believe she survived it,” Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said in the statement. “There’s coyotes in them hills. There’s copperheads and rattlesnakes and ticks — all the elements. And somehow she came out in pretty good shape.”
Beth believes the pit bull helped protect the girl while she was missing.
“This is our hero right here,” Beth told WISTV, while petting the dog.
“When my dog didn’t come home, and my baby wasn’t home, she was not going to leave that baby until she got here.” She continued by saying, “I can’t even explain how happy I am that this baby is home, because I love her more than anything in this world.”
She added that Penny was given extra treats, including a cheeseburger.
While both Charlee and Penny are safe, questions still linger.
“They’ve been everywhere,” says Wayne Brown, the neighbor who discovered Charlee, of the search team. “They’ve been all over this place, and how did they not find this child, and she just shows up where the search has been. How does that happen?”
Law enforcement officials have questioned people but no arrests have been made – and perhaps, Charlee and Penny were indeed just lost.
“That big dog (Penny), because she’s huge, and that child looks like it would be hard to miss,” Tinnell told WAVE 3. “But it might be a circumstance where she got tired and laid down and went to sleep for hours on end — behind a stump or behind a tree or who knows what, a big rock — it’s possible to overlook, I guess, if the dog laid down with her.”