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Hero dog stays in woods with missing boy until help arrives, cops praise pet as ‘a protector’

A dog belonging to a missing Tennessee boy was praised for reportedly staying by the lost 6-year-old’s side until rescuers found them.

According to WVLT, Kaydon Leach emerged from the woods Tuesday afternoon, locating responders about a half-mile from his Tallassee home. His small black and white terrier was with him when he was found.

“The dog was with him, yes,” Blount County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff French said.

“The dog growled at the rescuers when they approached Kaydon, so the dog is a protector.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Leach vanished from his home on South Hummingbird Drive Monday night. Law enforcement said his dog possibly left with him.

Volunteers and about 100 first responders from local, state, and federal agencies reportedly searched a lake, mountainsides, and several abandoned buildings for Leach. According to WATE, the search involved K-9 and SWAT teams in addition to a Black Hawk military helicopter.

WVLT reported that the little boy was “purple and cold” when he was found Tuesday. Medical personnel checked Leach at the scene and he was transported to the hospital. His condition wasn’t immediately known.

READ More: Found Safe! Endangered child alert for little boy, 6, who vanished from home

“We’re so thankful to everyone, from local law enforcement agencies to volunteers, who helped us find Kaydon,” the boy’s family said in a statement Tuesday.

“The amount of support we have received has been tremendous, even from people we don’t even know. We appreciate all our friends and neighbors, and ask for privacy at this time.”

[Featured Image: Kaydon Leach/Blount County Sheriff’s Office; WVLT video screengrab]