For more than 12 hours, and as temperatures dipped to freezing, a 9-year-old girl had only her three pet dogs to protect her as she was lost in the wilderness of northern Alberta.
Meghan (her family didn’t want her last name used) wandered away from her home at Frog Lake First Nations, about 200 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, according to police. Family and friends spent hours searching for her – and her dogs – by the time the Elk Point RCMP detachment got involved it was 11:14 p.m.
Local residents kept searching through the night.
As Mounties prepared for a more intensive ground and air search in the daylight Thursday morning, Meghan walked out the bush. Her dogs Starky, Brute and Prince kept her safe.
“She was located bout 7 km north of her home, walking out of bush,” her uncle, Michael, posted on Facebook. “…Little Meghan has been located, safe and in good health. Prayers have been answered.”
It was 7 a.m. when a community member found her – and her beloved pets.
“When the RCMP spoke to the girl, she indicated that her three dogs laid beside her throughout the night and kept her warm,” Sergeant Barry Larocque said in a news release.
The youngster was taken to the Elk Point Hospital. Miraculously, she wasn’t injured. She didn’t even have frostbite or a hint of hypothermia.
RCMP credit the love and companionship of the dogs for protecting the girl, and thanked local residents.
“The Elk Point RCMP want to acknowledge the unwavering efforts of the Frog Lake First Nations community in searching for the little girl throughout the night,” Larocque added.
Meghan’s uncle, Michael, said in an interview he was disappointed with the RCMP effort in finding Meghan.
“RCMP, I think, need to step up their duties,” he said. “This little girl was out in the bush all night, cold an wet, very scared. This little girl was born with special needs, she needs extra care. Her dogs are amazing.”
Truly, a girl’s best friends.
Photos Submitted by family