Three year old kept alive in freezing woods by puppy companions

Three year old Jaylynn Thorpe was playing with five puppies at his baby sitter’s house in Virginia on Friday afternoon. He wandered a mile off into the nearby woods with two of the dogs at around 4:30 pm. A massive search was set up across a three and a half mile radius with over 250 people helping with the hunt for the boy. Temperatures dropped to 17 degrees that night and people feared the worst. At 12:35 pm on Saturday, after 20 hours missing, Jaylynn was found under some leaves with the dogs snuggled up against him. He was transported to a nearby hospital and was said to be hungry but fine. The dogs helped keep him warm and may have saved his life:

Hope was fading fast when searchers for Jaylynn Thorpe, the three-year child who went missing overnight in sub-freezing temperatures, found the child sitting on a log in the woods, two puppy dogs at his side.

The good news came around 12:35 p.m. Saturday, culminating a 20-hour search that drew on the efforts of some 250 emergency services personnel and volunteers. Young Jaylynn had wandered off from his babysitter’s home near the woods of Buckshoal Road around 4:30 p.m. Friday, and search teams had been unable to find the boy despite combing the woods near the babysitter’s home.

Then, suddenly, after thousands of man-hours and a painstaking hunt in a three-and-a-half mile radius around the home, there the child was, “cold and hungry,” said Halifax County Sheriff Stanley Noblin, but otherwise fine.

The youngster escaped the incident “without even a sniffle,” Noblin said.
Authorities believe the child may have been saved by two puppies who stuck to his side throughout the ordeal. Jaylynn apparently was playing with five puppies at the home of his babysitter, a relative, when he wandered off into the woods with the pups.

Three of the dogs returned at some point, leaving two puppies who were found with the youngster on Saturday.

Jaylynn’s uncle, Michael Elliott of South Boston, said the puppies cuddled with Jaylynn to keep him warm through the night. The child also slept under a cover of leaves, further helping to ward off the cold.

“It was a miracle, and I’m glad it came out the best way,” he said. “There aren’t many kids who could come through that with the temperature like [it was],” said Elliott.

Temperatures fell to 17 degrees during the night, Noblin said, but the youngster told searchers that he had slept that night with his two puppies close to him. “They (the puppies) probably saved his life,” the Sheriff said.

[From The News Record, thanks to Daisy424 for the tip]

His mother said that when she first saw him he told her “Momma, I got cold. I slept in the woods last night. The puppies kept me warm.” That’s a touching story and thank goodness that little boy is ok. There’s a newscast of this story you can view online on local channel ABC 13. The community really pulled together in the search for this little boy.

In related puppy news, have you been watching the Shiba Inu puppy cam? Thousands watched those adorable dogs grow up and now they’re going to new homes. As of this post, there are just three puppies sleeping sweetly in their bed. They’re all cuddled up together too. Here’s a screenshot (one is off camera).

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31 Responses to “Three year old kept alive in freezing woods by puppy companions”

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  1. jenn says:

    awww, thank goodness he was found safely. I hope he gets to keep those puppies and I hope they get steak for dinner.

  2. NotBlonde says:

    Cuuuute Shiba Inu puppies!

    It’s an adorable story. Who thinks that “relative” is never going to be allowed to watch that kid ever again?

  3. mae says:

    hopefully the next person to do a live-feed puppy cam will pick a cuter breed

  4. daisy424 says:

    Does anyone remember the band Three Dog Night?
    From what I understand their name was inspired by an Australian Aboriginal custom of sleeping with a dog for warmth on a cold night – a three dog night would be very cold, plus the band had 3 lead singers.
    Happy endings are great to hear about. Love the puppy cam CB, thanks for the link.
    I think they are darling pups ๐Ÿ˜‰

    *edit, K – it’s always the big pups that think they are lap

  5. Kaiser says:

    Puppies! Seriously, y’all, it’s been freezing over here in the mid-Atlantic. I keep my 100-pound monster dog handy (he sleeps on my feet while I watch tv).

  6. Codzilla says:

    What a wonderful story. Thank God the child is OK, and those puppies made all their canine cousins proud. Dogs rule.

    NotBlonde: I was thinking the same thing. No way should a three year old have enough unsupervised time to wander into the woods and get lost. I’d have pounced on that dummy if it had been my child.

    Edit: LOVE the puppy cam! They’re absolutely adorable.

  7. Kristin says:

    Awww. That is so sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Emily says:

    I’ve checked out the Shiba Inu puppies a few times, they are soooo adorable. I suggest any of you who like to be all googly eyed in front of puppies/kittens check out Never fails to cheer me up when I’m feeling down!

  9. Aspen says:

    Shibas have quite the personality. They’re very popular, obviously, in Okinawa. When my beagle and I attended puppy school, there were five Shibas in her little class.

    As to the child…thank GOD he’s okay…and any mother who would leave her son with such an idiot again would be unfit. I’m sure the relative is very sorry, but how did the boy come to have so much time without supervision in the first place? You can’t let a 3 year-old “go play” in the unfenced back yard with the dogs while you watch a movie. You just can’t.

  10. Aspen says:

    My Little Trivia Tidbit For The Day:

    It’s always hit me as “off” that English-speakers call the breed by the full title Shiba Inu. Even the AKC calls them that, so it’s not like people are making a mistake or anything, but it just seems like an odd title to me.

    Inu just means “dog” in Japanese, so Shiba Inu is like saying German Shepard Dog or Beagle Dog instead of just saying the breed title. In Okinawa, we just call them Shibas. LOL…these are the things I ponder over morning coffee.

  11. Mairead says:

    Animals really are remarkable creatures ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Poor kid and his poor mother, regardless of blame, she must have been going out of her mind with worry.

  12. diniefofinie says:

    that’s so sweet
    i read this no yahoo also

    i blame that stupid relative, who just lets five puppies and a 3 year old run around outside near the woods!?

  13. Tia says:

    Ok, so why were the puppies also outside??? People need to bring their pets in.. it is freezing outside and they suffer. I really hope she brings those babies inside.. GEEZ-US!!!!!

  14. RAN says:

    What a heartwarming story! I agree, blame aside, I’m glad the boy and the pups are all ok. Loved the puppy link too

  15. UrbanRube says:

    I wouldn’t let that relative in the same room with my kid again. That is shameful negligence with a child that young. If he or she had bothered to notice within half an hour of his going missing, it wouldn’t have been that hard to find him.

  16. JaundiceMachine says:

    What a great story! Michael K has me hooked on the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam. Someone is going to get some extra kibble in their bowl tonight . . .

    Awesome piece of trivia, Daisy. I love Three Dog Night!

  17. Codzilla says:

    Jaundice: How was your interview? Hope it was awesome. *fingers crossed*

  18. It went really well – considering I thought I was interviewing for a completely different position. I’m on the shortlist, so maybe I can endear myself to them by worming my way into their cold hearts . . . not unlike a puppy! (Like how I bring it all back like that? Skills.)

    Thanks for askin’, Codz. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. roller says:

    thats so sweet, i love dogs!

  20. LOL says:

    Did the puppies live?!?

  21. brista says:

    Cute, adorable, glad it turned out well, etc., etc. HOWEVER!

    He probably ran away because his parents named him freakin’ Jaylynn!!

    (A) That’s barely a name!


    (B) It’s not even a little bit a boy’s name!

  22. DLR in Canada says:

    Oh my goodness! First of all, why were the puppies outside in the first place? Also, how did this 3-year old get outside in the first place? What in the world was the baby-sitter aka relative doing? Oh so much finger-pointing here, and they all point to one heck of a negilient baby-sitter! Can you imagine if the outcome had been Jaylynn died? Yeah, there’d be some problems that’s for sure! Incredibly lucky. So very incredibly lucky!

  23. xiaoecho says:

    Love that cute little bum on the far puppy

  24. devilgirl says:

    As usual, the animals have a better sense of responsibility than the adults in charge. If I had kids, I would certainly trust my dog to babysit better than human sitters.

  25. Misty says:

    HOW DOES A 3 YEAR OLD WANDER OFF — a mile from home! — UNDETECTED? Was Oprah on TV at the time? Or Jerry Springer? Thank God this little boy is safe — even with the stupidity of the “babysitter”.

  26. Yo Mamma says:

    From where I come from they call that a “Puppy Pile” My dog will do it with me when he’s cold. But remember, you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas!

  27. Codzilla says:

    I’d rather get up with fleas than most of the shit humans are toting around these days.

  28. daisy424 says:

    Codzilla ๐Ÿ˜€
    Jaundice, My Dad told me that years ago. I didn’t know if they were before everyone’s ‘time’. ‘Celebrate’ is one my favorites.
    Thanks for the link Emily, too cute!

  29. Codzilla says:

    Jaundice: Glad to hear it went well! You’ve got the mad sillz, indeed.

  30. Codzilla says:

    Er, “skillz” ๐Ÿ˜•

  31. leigh says:

    seriously fire the babysitter. yikes.

    cute story though.