A deaf, partially blind dog was made an honorary police pooch after helping rescue a three-year-old girl who got lost in the Australian bush, in Queensland.
Seventeen-year-old blue heeler Max stayed with the girl, named locally as Aurora, overnight and then helped lead her grandmother directly to her location after a huge search and rescue operation.
Aurora wandered off alone on Friday afternoon and was found safe in bushland 2 kilometres from her house at around 7.30am local time on Saturday, according to ABC News. Some 100 emergency volunteers were involved in the search for Aurora.
Kelly Benston, the partner of Aurora’s grandmother Leisa Marie Bennett, described the moment the three-year-old was found in a post on Facebook.
“She found the dog first. Max led her to Aurora,” he said of Bennett.
“[Aurora] went down a small valley and went up the face of a small mountain and camped there for the night. The dog camped with her.”
Queensland Police praised Max the dog in a tweet on Saturday and said he was now an honorary member of the force.
Bennett told ABC News: “I think [Aurora] was a bit overwhelmed by the tears and the howling, but I explained to her how happy those tears were. It could have gone any of 100 ways, but she’s here, she’s alive, she’s well and it’s a great outcome for our family.”
Police officer Ian Phipps added: “The area around the house is quite mountainous and is very inhospitable terrain to go walking in, so she’d travelled quite a distance with her dog that was quite loyal to her.”