This family dog showed rescuers where to find a missing toddler

A helicopter crew spotted the pooch, who stayed with the boy until help arrived.

Dogs and children often seem to have a special bond – and that may have helped save the life of a 2-year-old in Stearns County last week. 

The boy wandered away from his home near Cold Spring in the evening, leading to a search that involved the sheriff's office, a few fire departments, and the Minnesota State Patrol. 

After a few hours both the sun and the temperature had gone down and State Patrol Lt. Craig Benz told WCCO the situation was getting dire. 

“If you throw in any mist, any condensation, now you got a wet skin which just makes that body temperature drop and so it is an emergency situation,” Benz said.

The State Patrol said a breakthrough in the search came when a helicopter crew – using an infrared camera that detects heat – spotted a figure moving around.

It turned out to be the family dog, who had found the boy before anyone else did. In the State Patrol's video the dog can be seen pacing next to the boy, who had plopped down near to a cornfield. 

The helicopter crew directed ground searchers to the boy – and the dog. 

The toddler was cold but otherwise OK and was soon reunited with his family. He told his rescuers he had been counting corn but was ready to go home, WCCO reports. 

Next Up


Walter Mondale dies at age of 93

His death was confirmed by family on Monday.

National Guard

Man charged in connection to shooting that injured National Guard troops

Four soldiers were inside a military vehicle that was shot at.

Chauvin trial

Walz declares emergency in Twin Cities, bringing in police from Ohio and Nebraska

The governor has asked the Legislature for emergency funding for the additional police.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial: Here's what was said

The jury listened to lengthy presentations from the prosecution and defense.


Man, 55, airlifted to a hospital after hit-and-run in Granite Falls

The passenger in the vehicle told police about the incident.

Minneapolis, unrest

Facebook labels Minneapolis 'high-risk,' will remove posts that incite violence

Facebook will remove posts that call for weapons to be brought to Minneapolis and anything that celebrates George Floyd's death.


After being sued, MyPillow is now suing Dominion Voting Systems

The company's lawsuit claims the voting system suppressed free speech and hurt its business relationships.

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren makes his decision ... and it's Gonzaga

The Minnesota basketball phenom is following the footsteps of Jalen Suggs.

Sarah Glover

MPR News hires NBC's Sarah Glover as new managing editor

The experienced journalist was the first to serve two terms as president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

football play

Watch: Sixth-grader with cerebral palsy makes touchdown in Detroit Lakes

Kale Hannahs' classmates made sure he got a chance to play during recess.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, April 19

The latest from Minnesota health officials.


Rescuers save lost hunter who spent three nights in the woods

He brought along 6 crackers for a half-day trip, a report says.

Searchers find Alexandria teen missing for nearly a month

Jasmine Block is being treated for minor injuries, police say.

Helicopter crash kills rescuer trying to help Minnesota snowmobiler, who also dies

A Minnesota man and a rescue worker have died in a remote area of Wyoming, the Associated Press reports. The snowmobiler's party had called for help for unknown reasons, but the rescue party's helicopter crashed as it left to get more aid. Two others were hurt in the crash.

Dog leads way to missing 5-year-old boy

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department says the missing 5-year-old boy with autism Scotty Meyer has been found safe and he appears physically unharmed. The child was found by a volunteer searcher's dog in a wooded area near the Mississippi River about a half mile from his home. The boy went missing about noon Tuesday near Prescott, Wis., and hundreds searched for him.