A missing toddler and her dog has been found safe after a massive search in Arenac County.
The Moffatt Township Fire Department and Arenac County Sheriff’s Department were stationed on the 6700 block of White Tail Drive near Forest Lake after reports of a 2-year-old girl who went missing about 9:30 a.m.
Ray Tola, a volunteer who helped in the search, said the toddler was last seen wearing a white nightgown with her dog, an Irish Setter named Brooke. Tola said the search party combed through a nearby wooded area and found the little girl about 12:45 p.m.
Brooke was by her side, Tola said.
A nearby couple found the little girl, Moffatt Township Fire Chief Rick Kalosis said.
“We just started looking. We went back and found a hunting blind back there and we stopped to check it out and we heard her crying and she was over across the little river on the hill,” said Michele David, local hero.
David and her husband were scouring the woods on the back of their ATV when they came across the scared little girl.
David said the girl was fine and not injured in any way, but she really wanted to know how her dog was doing.
“She was worried about her dog. Her dog was with her and that’s what I seen first,” David said.
Several members of the community helped with the search, including K-9 units from Michigan State Police.
Tola said it was about 90 minutes before the search party was called out after the girl went missing There were anywhere from 50 to 100 volunteers currently in the area, he said.
“Everyone is proud out here today. They all did a good job. They all volunteered and you know we’re a pretty close knit community out here. And everyone came out and did a good job,” Kalosis said.
The neighbors were just as relieved as the girl’s family when she was found safe and sound.
“Well, she was with Mark and Michelle and they just gathered her up and of course she was looking for the dog. She was more interested in where the dog was than us,” said Ray Bruznell, resident.