RAPID RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Just after 11am Friday members of the Delta County Sheriff's Department responded to a call about a child found in a ditch in the Rapid River area.
The temperature was near freezing at the time the child was found. The 3 year old girl was found naked and was taken to a nearby home to wait for the authorities to arrive.
Deputies arrived along with an EMS crew who evaluated the girl and transported her to St. Francis hospital. The child was checked out and found not to be suffering from hypothermia or any immediately apparent serious injuries.
The child's parents were subsequently located and action was taken by child protective services to remove the child and one sibling from the home.
Deputy Steve Kositzky was one of the officers who responded to the scene.
"The child is fine and is well and is in good hands as we speak. There was one other child that was located in the home and that child was removed as well and to my knowledge both those children are together in a foster care type home."
Delta County Prosecuting Attorney Phil Strom said that the investigation into the situation is just beginning.
"We are waiting for the full police report, the full investigation to unfold. We are thankful we had a concerned citizen member find the child."
While many are being quick to judge and draw their own conclusions, particularly on social media, authorities are asking that the investigation be allowed to follow it's course and let the truth of the situation be told in time. Everyone is hoping that knowing the children are in a safe place now will allow that to happen.
If there is a happy moment to be found in this sad story it is in the form of a dog named Peanut.
Peanut is the reason that the child was found and taken out of harms way. Peanut was inside the home of her family when she began acting crazy. Running up and down stairs. She was barking and yelping and demanding to be let outside. The owners say that when they let Peanut outside she took off at full speed into the field behind their home. Because the dog was acting so strangely one of her family followed her and discovered the naked, little girl shivering and curled up in a ball.
The man wrapped the girl up in his sweatshirt and took her into the house. The family called 911 and made the little girl as comfortable as possible while they waited for authorities to arrive.
When the ambulance and police arrived the little girl uttered just one word. "Doggie."
But that's not all. As amazing as that story is, it only gets better when you learn of the backstory of Peanut.
Peanut is a rescue dog from the Delta Animal Shelter. Last April she arrived, then named Petunia, at the shelter in very bad shape. She had two broken legs, broken ribs and a digestive tract full of carpet. The incredible folks at the shelter took her in and nursed her back to health.
As she was healing, her formers owners were convicted of animal abuse.
It didn't take long for a healthy Petunia to find a new home. A family from Rapid River came to the shelter one day and left with a new family member. Petunia went to her new home with a new name. Peanut.
Thanks to Peanut, her new family and the Delta Animal Shelter she was able to go and rescue that little girl.
We all love our dogs and they all hold special places in our hearts. I dare say we all view our pets as heroes to us personally on one level or another but occasionally a chance comes along to go above and beyond the norm and do something incredible. Thanks to those running and supporting the shelter and the people who take in shelter animals, Peanut was in that special place at that special time and she truly is a hero. Thank you Peanut.