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Missing Autistic Toddler Found Safe In The Care Of Family Dogs

Having your child go missing is one of the worst experiences anyone could go through, we are just glad this story has a happy ending

One day, three-year-old Marshal disappeared from his home at Ponce De Leon, Florida, wearing just his diaper.

Marshal is autistic and is unable to speak, this left his family even more worried about their chances of finding the boy.

"We Don't Deserve Dogs": Missing Autistic Toddler Found In The Care Of His Family's Dogs
Walton County Sheriff

The silver lining was that Marshal was not entirely alone, he disappeared with the two family dogs, Nala and Buckwheat.

Marshal’s aunt Kayla Steward was speaking to WJHG, she said: “We were panicked. All sorts of worst-case scenarios [were] running through their heads.”

"We Don't Deserve Dogs": Missing Autistic Toddler Found In The Care Of His Family's Dogs
Walton County Sheriff

Neighbors joined the sheriff’s department’s search for the boy, “Minutes are precious when it comes to the search of a child,” said Corey Dobridnia, Public Information Officer at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

“Our expectations going into a search of that magnitude are always to get as many agency members on the ground as possible to aid in the search.”

Later that afternoon, Carol Shelton, one of the neighbors spotted the boy around a mile away from his home.

"We Don't Deserve Dogs": Missing Autistic Toddler Found In The Care Of His Family's Dogs
Walton County Sheriff

He was with his guardian angels, Nala and Buckwheat who were apparently by his side the whole way!

“[His] dogs were right there with him,” recalled Shelton, “[We’re] thankful that the pups kind of guided him along, I guess they kept him safe.”

"We Don't Deserve Dogs": Missing Autistic Toddler Found In The Care Of His Family's Dogs
Walton County Sheriff

Everyone at the Sheriff’s Office was happy the child was located and instructed one of their captains to bring the child back to his mother.

“Marshal was in good spirits when found. A little dirty from the walk through the woods, but unharmed and happy,” says Dobridnia.

“Dogs are loyal creatures. I feel like they probably knew to stay with him when they saw he was alone. Their instincts kicked in. They stayed with the boy and watched over him until he was located.”

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Written by Joe Kahlo