A missing four-year-old New Jersey boy is in safe and grateful arms, thanks to the work of State Troopers and the little guy’s best friend, his barking dog.
“Last night, troopers from Buena Vista Station responded to the report of a missing child in Buena Vista Twp., Atlantic County,” New Jersey State Police said in a Thursday Facebook statement.
The little boy and his black labrador “had wandered away from his house and were missing for more than an hour,” according to police. “While searching for the child, Trooper Ian Emmi and the child’s mother heard him off in the distance and ran to his location nearly a half mile from his house.”
The department shared the dramatic moment the child was found, a 46-second clip from Emmi’s bodycam.
It begins with what sounds like a dog barking. Emmi, the boy’s mother, and a female state trooper take off running.
“I got him back here!” Emmi is heard shouting.
Seconds later, the child’s trusty companion comes into view, dancing excitedly beside the clearly terrified little boy.
“I got ya, come here, you’re OK,” Emmi tells him.
This missing toddler instantly reaches for the officer, his arms in the air, sobbing.
“I lost my shoe!” he cries as Emmi picks him up.
Emmi passes him to the female state trooper, who squeezes him tightly and tries to comfort him.
“I lost my shoe,” he says again as the officer sighs with palpable relief.
“We are thankful to report that due to the quick response of the troopers and his mother, the terrified child was safely located and in good health,” the department said in the statement.
As the uplifting story migrated from Facebook to Twitter, praise for the state troopers came pouring in, but it was the loyal labrador that many called the real hero of the day.
“I mean this is wonderful he was found so fast,” wrote one user. “But no matter what that dog was going to protect him.”
“Loyalty of a dog!!!” exclaimed another. “He stayed right there with the boy the whole time.”
I mean this is wonderful he was found so fast. But no matter what that dog was going to protect him
— ⋆★⋆ (@mofomilk) March 31, 2023
Loyalty of a dog !!! He stayed right there with the boy the whole time
— Southpaw (@liltopper) March 31, 2023
Poor bubba. What a faithful pup
— fiercemommabear (@Iamtheirmother) March 31, 2023
Others noted that the little boy seemed most upset by the loss of his footwear.
He only cared about his shoe
— Matt (@beach_life0406) March 31, 2023
The little boy must be surprised no one is interested in finding his shoe!
— Essien Jack. (@Jackessien10) March 31, 2023
…But did they find the shoe????
— Cohn Joltrane ®️ (@TheCoolJoel) March 31, 2023
The shoe may be lost forever, but the story warmed the hearts of many who typically battle it out in the trenches of Twitter.
“Finally,” tweeted one user, “some good hearted news.”
Finally some good hearted news
— Tilden Katz (@TildenKatz15) April 1, 2023
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