A missing 2-year-old boy is safe with his family again, in part thanks to a loyal dog.
Timothy Eff, a good Samaritan who help to reunite the child with his family, was surprised to see a toddler and a pit bull walk up to his East Toledo, Ohio home on Nov. 18.
“The dog was staying by the kid’s side,” Eff told The Toledo Blade. The child was reportedly only wearing a dirty diaper, but otherwise appeared to be in good health and unharmed.
“He didn’t seem neglected or abused at all,” said Eff. “He took right to me. He was just out wandering around, playing in the neighborhood.”
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Eff, who has four children of his own, gave the child a bath, changed his diaper, and fed both the toddler and the pit bull, named Hazard.
“That dog knew that kid was by himself, and protected him to the fullest,” Eff said. “He kind of got between me and the kid, but he didn’t growl. He just let me know that’s his kid. He’s definitely a good dog.”
Local police discovered the boy belonged to 23-year-old Amy Dunbar, who lives around the corner from Eff. She said had been napping with the child, as she had stayed up all night to attend to him while he was sick and crying.
The mother has been charged with misdemeanor counts of child endangering and a loose dog. Dunbar has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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“I was freaking out,” she said. “It was a mistake and it won’t ever happen again. It was an accident.”
She said her son is tall for his age and had recently learned how to unlock the front door. Since the incident, the family has installed three locks on both the front and back doors of the home.
“We occasionally get calls to check the safety of children,” said Toledo police spokesman Lt. Joe Heffernan of the incident. “Most of the time it’s a child that wandered off and we find a parent pretty quickly. I can’t recall one walking with a dog.”
"Everything that my son does, Hazard does,” Dunbar said. “Everything Hazard does, my son does. He was protecting my son.”