WJHG reported that a missing autistic kid was discovered safe after he vanished from his family home in Florida with his two dogs in tow.
Marshal Butler, 3, of Ponce de León, strayed away from home, prompting a frenzied police hunt that resulted in the child being discovered in the protection of the family dogs who refused to leave his side.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office shared information about the case on Facebook to assist authorities in their hunt for the baby. “The kid was last spotted wearing just a diaper,” according to the post, which adds that a K9 team has been summoned in to assist with the search. Marshal’s family dreaded the worst since he has autism and won’t be able to connect with everybody he meets. The fact that he was last seen with their dogs, Nala and Buckwheat, provided them with barely a sliver of hope.
Marshal’s aunt, Kayla Stewart, described the family as “frightened” as they anticipated word on their missing member. She said to WJHG that they were terrified. They were thinking through all kinds of worst-case scenarios in their brains. After hours of searching, a neighbour discovered Marshal approximately a mile from his home along a river.
The child, who was smeared in mud yet otherwise uninjured, was found with Nala and Buckwheat, who had obviously refused to leave his side. “Both of his dogs were right there with him,” Carol Shelton, a neighbour, recounted. “[We’re] grateful that the pups sort of led him along, and I think they kept him safe.”
Marshal’s family is overjoyed and delighted to have him back home. They’re also extremely proud of their two devoted puppies, who ensured the child was never alone and who guarded him during his traumatic abduction. “They’re doing their job,” Marshal’s mother stated. The sheriff’s office updated everybody on the case on Facebook and confirmed that Marshal had been located safe.
The article, which also disclosed that the child’s dogs had remained with him, has now gone viral, with over 1,500 shares and over 3,000 user replies. “So relieved to hear he was found safe,” one user said. “It’s even better that he was discovered with his dog! He had been guarding him the entire time. Dogs are such devoted companions!” The office repeated this attitude in a subsequent statement, writing, “We don’t deserve dogs.”
These dogs performed their duty and safeguarded this tiny one; there is no greater loyalty.